Showtime’s internet-only subscriber base has climbed to 1.5 million, while CBS All Access — the broadcaster’s live and on-demand paid streaming service — is nearing the same number of subs, according to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves.
Moonves revealed the numbers in a session last Friday at UCLA Anderson’s Pulse Entertainment, Sports & Technology Conference. The event was closed to press but sources confirmed his remarks. (CBS and Showtime reps declined to comment.)
For both the Showtime and CBS All Access over-the-top plays, that would represent a significant growth spurt of 50% over the past seven months. In July 2016, each OTT service had about 1 million subs, Moonves said on CBS’s Q2 earnings call at the time.
TV networks are adapting to life in a cord-cutting world, and the battle is on to land subs for digital services. Last week, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said HBO Now had topped 2 million subscribers in the U.S. The standalone-streaming service debuted in April 2015.
CBS, in announcing ratings for Sunday’s 59th Annual Grammy Awards, said that All Access set a new record for daily sign-ups on Feb. 12, beating the surge it saw for last year’s Grammys. Traffic across CBS’s digital platforms also hit a new Grammys Day record with total time spent up 94% over 2016’s broadcast, although the broadcaster didn’t provide actual numbers for engagement or subscriber signups. For those without a traditional pay-TV subscription, All Access was the only way to (legally) stream the music awards show.
CBS All Access has also benefited from securing rights to NFL games last December for the OTT service under a new deal with the league. In addition, CBS has several original series available exclusively on All Access, including “Big Brother: Over the Top”; “The Good Wife” spinoff “The Good Fight” (premieres Feb. 19); and the “Star Trek: Discovery,” although that will likely now be delayed past its previously announced May launch. All Access, which first launched in the fall of 2014, costs $5.99 monthly with ads and $9.99 per month without ads in on-demand shows.
Showtime originally launched the standalone-streaming service, which costs $10.99 per month, in July 2015. Top originals on the premium service include “Homeland,” “Billions,” “The Affair” and “Shameless,” while Showtime has slotted a reboot of “Twin Peaks” for this May. At Showtime’s TCA event last month, CEO David Nevins noted that the OTT service gets a lift in subscribers with new and returning series debuts, as well as over the holiday season.
Moonves may shed more light on the streaming services’ momentum this Wednesday, when the company is slated to report fourth-quarter 2016 earnings after the market closes.
Meanwhile, CBS last month announced a deal with Hulu to be part of its live-TV streaming bundle; Showtime is already available through Hulu. Currently, CBS and Showtime are not available in AT&T’s DirecTV Now lineup.
Pictured above: CBS All Access