There are a variety of different types of streaming services to suit the needs and whims of TV audiences. Some of these have employed a commercial free, subscription-only option, while others still include ads among their content. So far, CBS has cost subscribers $5.99 a month and still featured commercials. But that may not be the future of CBS All Access. Here’s what CBS CEO Les Moonves had to say about the change the company would like to bring to CBS All Access moving forward. The big change? No commercials.
At an investor conference in San Francisco, CBS CEO Les Moonves says the company wants to heavily push CBS All Access during the coming year. One way to do that would be to give consumers more options, including a commercial-free version of the streaming service. The deal would work similar to what Hulu currently has in place, with a lower price for the version with commercials and a higher price for the commercial-free version. The Wrap notes that the company would be looking to charge $9.99 for no commercials.
The real question is whether or not consumers would be willing to shell out a bunch of extra money for CBS All Access. $5.99 doesn’t seem like all that much but $9.99 is a pretty big increase, percentage-wise. In addition, CBS is unlike a lot of the other streaming services. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime have originals but also give fans access to plenty of other network and cable shows and movies. Sling TV allows fans to stream a ton of channels in live time, including ESPN and AMC. CBS is similar to HBO Now in that it gives the audience access to current originals, as well as the network’s backlog of originals, but since a ton of CBS programs are still easily accessible via antennas, it’s less exclusive than a subscription cable channel like HBO.
The cool thing about a lack in commercials would theoretically be that users could stream commercial-free live CBS with ALL Access. I don’t know exactly how that would work, as the feed already has the commercials built-in for airing on live on TV, but if the streaming service figures it out, presumably that may make the service more viable for subscribers.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on CBS All Access in recent months, you may already know that CBS has been looking for ways to make its service more attractive. Coming up, the network will launch a brand new Star Trek franchise series. The show won’t premiere until January 2017, but after the first episode airs on regular CBS, the rest of the episodes will be available through CBS All Access. And with some familiar names involved with the product—including Alex Kurtzman--it’s a pretty high-profile original to be kicking off with.
There’s no date set yet regarding when CBS All Access might be looking to get a commercial-free option, but we’ll let you know as soon as it happens. In the meantime, you can check out what else TV has coming up with our midseason TV premiere schedule.