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Two households alike in dignity, once star-crossed Viacom and CBS are now set to enter yet another union, this one perhaps less brief than their last. Their imminent integration raises a number of questions to be answered in the coming days – that of synergies, executive leadership and overarching strategy.
With CBS and Viacom making official Tuesday their plans to once again merge, one particular question, in this age of streaming-service matchups, is what will become of their over-the-top platforms. Viacom and CBS are something near opposites in the streaming sphere. Where CBS has invested in creating a dual paid subscription video-on-demand offering in the form of CBS All Access and Showtime, Viacom’s path has thus far been an inversion of its new partner, primarily pursuing an ad-supported free path after acquiring Pluto TV earlier this year.
CBS - All - Access - Muscular - Platform
CBS All Access’ muscular, albeit insular, platform is made up entirely of shows from its own flagship linear network (the “NCIS” franchise, “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”) and exclusive, online-only originals (“The Good Fight,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Tell Me a Story”), offering a limited-commercial tier for $5.99 a month and an ad-free tier for $9.99 a month. Its sister service, Showtime OTT, is an extension of the premium cable network that features shows such as “Billions” and “Desus & Mero.”
Combined, CBS All Access and Showtime have a healthy paying subscriber base, eight million strong – a goal achieved nearly two years ahead of time, executives there will tell you – with an ambitious target of 25 million subs, not including its international or ad-supported services, by 2020.
CBS - Presence - Video - Realm - Profile
CBS’ presence in the ad-supported video realm is less high profile, but consists of a varied portfolio that includes news-focused CBSN, local news-focused CBS Local, CBS Sports HQ and ET Live.
Viacom, meanwhile, headlines its...
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