Skip to main content

Screen Wars Thought Leader Interviews are also available on

SpotifyApple PodcastGoogle Podcast
State of the Screens

ViacomCBS’s Parts Might Add Up to a Greater Whole

By February 26, 2020No Comments

ViacomCBS announced that it is launching a new subscription video service that will expand on CBS All Access.

Key details for ViacomCBS:
1) 140K 
episodes of premium TV content
2) 3.6K film titles
3) $13B+ content spend
4) 15% share of prime-time viewing
5) $16/subscriber/month from pay-TV providers
6) ≈ 5M subscribers for CBS All Access
7) ≈ 5M subscribers for Showtime OTT
8) 20M monthly users for PlutoTV
9) $8.6B (31% of total) in affiliate revenue

Why this matters: Cord-cutting (see above) is reducing the number of households that generate affiliate fees for networks like CBS.  Building a direct-to-consumer relationship for both subscriptions and advertising is the future for these companies.

Quick math on the impact on affiliate fees from cord-cutting:
1) $16/month/subscriber for ViacomCBS
2) $196/year/subscriber
3) 3.7M subscribers left the pay-TV ecosystem in 2019
4) $733M in potential lost affiliate revenue

Flashback: Viacom-CBS Deal Drama Was Worthy of the Fall Lineup

Monthly per-subscriber fees:
Walt Disney – $22
ViacomCBS – $16
AT&T – $13
Comcast – $7
Fox – $7
Discovery – $4

Potential assets for new streaming service include:
1) CBS
2) MTV
3) Nickelodeon
4) BET
5) Comedy Central
6) Paramount Pictures
7) Showtime
8) PlutoTV

PlutoTV monthly viewers (YoY growth):
2016 – 5M
2018 – 12M
2019 – 20M (↑ 67%)

ViacomCBS streaming revenue (YoY growth):
1) 2019 – $1.6B
2) 2020P – $2.2B (↑ 67%)

More #1: Exclusive: For the First Time Shari Redstone Tells Her Side Of The Battle To Merge Viacom And CBS

More #2: ViacomCBS to launch new streaming service blending CBS All Access with Paramount films, Viacom channels

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

Leave a Reply