CBS All Access received a big subscribers increase from the success of Star Trek: Picard and the Grammys, so is it a big blip, or a trend?
According to a report by Broadcast+Cable, ViacomCBS said the streaming service had a record number of single-month signups in January.
Much could be attributed to Picard‘s debut, but the Grammys also broke new ground for CBS All Access. It was the streamer’s most-watched edition of those annual awards.
Let’s take a closer look at what all this means, and how it bodes for the future.
The Final Frontier renewed
Already receiving the green light for a second season, Star Trek: Picard lived up to the hype with its pilot, producing a 115% streaming increase.
The previous show Star Trek: Discovery had the record for most streams, but Patrick Stewart’s return as Jean-Luc Picard smashed that by 180%. After only one episode, subscribers are flocking in.
While initial buzz for Picard is great in the short term, that doesn’t necessarily mean the trend will hold. However, fans of Stewart’s work in the role should continue coming in, especially as the first season unfolds.
With positive reviews and word-of-mouth getting around, Picard is definitely a flagship show for ViacomCBS. The early renewal and Stewart’s always-game commitment should hold viewer interest for months to come.
The Grammys ratings actually dipped
Nielsen data indicated Grammys ratings dropped to as low as they’ve been in 12 years, yet a third of the viewers streamed through CBS All Access! It also gave the streamer 30% more unique Grammys viewers than in 2019.
Even if the viewership was down in terms of pure TV numbers, CBS did a fine job handling the telecast. Alicia Keys hosted, and had a moving tribute to Kobe Bryant in the wake of the basketball legend’s tragic death.
Despite the ratings sinking, that doesn’t really have to do with CBS All Access. Per the aforementioned report, the Grammys alone led to 80% more new signups for the service than the previous year.
Even against an overall ratings drop, CBS All Access defied the odds with its Grammys turnout.
Future forecast promising – if uncertain
In the Broadcast+Cable report, ViacomCBS chief digital officer Matt DeBevoise expressed enthusiasm about what Picard and the Grammys meant overall:
We’ve seen tremendous continued growth in the service, and the new records we’ve experienced due to Star Trek: Picard, the Grammys and a fantastic season of football are a phenomenal way to kick off what will be a fantastic year for CBS All Access.
[…] We’ve strategically programmed 2020 to bring subscribers an ‘always on’ calendar of must-watch series and events.Broadcast+Cable
It seems DeBevoise has a great vision for the future of CBS All Access that won’t need annual awards shows like the Grammys for new waves of subscriptions to bank on.
The only caveat to CBS All Access’ positive forecast is the recent merger between Viacom and CBS. There’s a lot of corporate strategy reconciliation that needs to happen.
How the merger transition goes and which type of content ViacomCBS emerges with will largely determine its streaming service’s future.
But for now, don’t think Picard and the Grammys were but a mere, quick spark for CBS All Access. With plenty of original shows in the pipeline and the potential to add Paramount movies to the catalog with Viacom in the fold, there’s real upside here!
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