CBS All Access has seen double-digit growth during the past year, momentum that got a big boost earlier this month from the combination of the second season premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery” and the NFL’s AFC conference championship.
Marc DeBevoise, president and chief operating officer of CBS Interactive, said Wednesday during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena, Calif., that CBS All Access logged more than 50% growth in total subscribers as well as in total streams delivered and the amount of time users spent watching the service. CBS would not disclose the total number of subscribers the service has amassed; last August the company said it had reached 2.5 million subs. CBS All Access will mark its fifth on-air anniversary in October.
DeBevoise emphasized the portfolio approach that CBS takes with the All Access offering a bundle of advertising-supported channels including the CBSN news service, CBS Sports HQ and the newly launched ET Live focusing on entertainment news. CBS All Access also has a local component that sets it apart from other streaming services via the participation of the vast majority of the CBS network’s affiliate stations.
CBS All Access’ foundation of offering access to big live events via CBS — such as this weekend’s Super Bowl — and the local flavor provided by CBS affiliates amounts to a “unique value proposition for consumers and differentiator to other SVOD services,” DeBevoise said.
CBS last month launch the first of a series of local 24/7 news channels in New York, originating from its WCBS-TV New York flagship station. Los Angeles is next on the list in the near future.
DeBevoise said some 63% of CBS All Access subscribers are in the 18-49 demographic. The average age of subscribers is 44 and the gender mix is 52% male. Most of the viewing — 80% — is done via TV sets through a connected device.
Julie McNamara, exec VP of original content for CBS All Access, ran through the service’s original series roster, which is expected to grow to nine or 10 by year’s end. On Wednesday, CBS All Access announced a 10-episode order for a rendition of Stephen King’s “The Stand” targeted to premiere in 2020. She also talked up the upcoming Marc Cherry dark dramedy “Why Women Kill” and the interactive crime drama “Interrogation.”
McNamara also discussed the growing roster of “Star Trek” series. A limited series starring Patrick Stewart in his return to the role of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” will premiere by year’s end. An adult-oriented animated series “Lower Decks,” and another live-action series toplined by “Discovery” co-star Michelle Yeoh are also in production.
McNamara said the All Access team is mindful of the risk of flooding the “Star Trek” market. “Each show must stand on its own,” she said, and will be released “only when the vision and execution make the undeniable additions to the world.”
(Pictured: CBS Interactive’s Marc DeBevoise)