Friday, October 6, 2017

CBS Saw 200% Boost in Streaming Sign Ups Thanks to Star Trek -

CBS says it saw a 200% boost in subscription sign ups for the company's All Access streaming service -- thanks to the launch of its new Star Trek TV series. The first two episodes of "Star Trek: Discovery" were broadcast on CBS, but after that the show became a CBS All Access exclusive in order to boost interest in the company's streaming platform. The service, which costs $6 per month with ads and $10 per month without, provides access to CBS' full roster of shows but saw fairly tepid growth initially thanks to an already-crowded market.

CBS says that its exclusivity plan worked precisely as it was designed -- even if the show itself has seen some early mixed reviews.

"Consumer response to the launch of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY has been tremendous," the company said in a statement. "The build up to the show's premiere led us to a record-setting month, week and ultimately day of sign-ups. The second week of the series has also exceeded our expectations and is a credit to the brilliant and dedicated work of the show's entire creative team and cast. We can't wait for fans to see what comes next for the U.S.S. Discovery and its crew."

CBS' success here will likely only accelerate the number of broadcasters looking to bypass middlemen like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu -- and instead sell their wares directly to consumers.

And while this surge in streaming competition is a good thing on its face, there is a down side. As companies increasingly see success with their own streaming platforms, they're more likely to pull their existing content off of other more central repositories of content, forcing consumers to sign up for a growing array of services just to gain access to the content they're looking for. Disney was recently the latest to do this when it announced it would be pulling all content from Netflix and launching its own service in 2018.

The impracticality and high cost of signing up for dozens of streaming services just to view one or two shows risks driving users back to the simplicity of piracy, a problem most broadcaster execs don't seem particularly keen on avoiding.

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