CBS may be launching an ad-free version of its online streaming service All Access, according to a statement by the company’s president. CEO Les Moonves announced the possibility during an appearance at the Business Insider conference in New York.
Currently, the network charges $6 per month to subscribers of All Access. Moonves says internal data shows that each viewer is worth approximately $4 per month in advertising revenue for the company, so a $10 ad-free version of All Access is a possibility.
“We’re thinking about it,” Moonves said at the conference, “There could very well be a $9.99 product out there.”
Launched in October 2014, All Access is a successful revenue-generating service for the cable company, and features a large catalog of on-demand content from the network, including newer seasons of popular series, along with a large back catalog of classic shows like Star Trek. The most recent episodes of CBS-made series are typically available on the service the day after they air live.
According to executives at CBS, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is currently the service’s most-streamed show, but total subscriber numbers are not public information, and likely won’t be for a while. “When Netflix tells us how many people are watching House of Cards, then we’ll consider it,” Moonves joked about the company’s subscriber count.
Adding an ad-free option to previously ad-only streaming services is an industry-tested model. If the company embraces a small price increase to allow users to buy into an ad-free tier, it would highly resemble the model currently employed by popular streaming service Hulu, which allows subscribers to pay an added fee to eliminate virtually all adds from its content.
Moonves didn’t provide any real information about when users can expect a rollout of a tiered model of All Access in his presentation, but implementing an ad-free version of the service doesn’t require a massive redesign. If CBS embraces the update, subscribers could expect the change to hit the public as soon as early next year.
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