ViacomCBS Expects 16 Million Streaming Video Subscribers in 2020

Posted on February 22, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos, Smart Home with 11 Comments

Viacom owns CBS All Access and Showtime, and the firm expects combined paid subscriber growth to continue skyrocketing this year. That said, it has a long way to go before it can seriously threaten market leaders like Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video.

ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish told investors Thursday that it expected the combined paid subscriber base of its CBS All Access and Showtime services to reach 16 million by the end of 2020. The services ended 2019 with 11 million combined paid subscribers, a jump of 50 percent year-over-year. And it expects to reach 25 million subscribers by 2022.

The key to growth of any service, of course, is content, and ViacomCBS has a mix of both new original content—like Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard at CBS All Access, and Homeland and Billions at Showtime—and strong back catalogs.

The firm also offers Pluto TV, a free ad-supported Internet TV service. Pluto TV now has 22.4 million monthly active users, ViacomCBS says, and it expects it to hit 30 million monthly active users by the end of 2020.

By comparison, Netflix has about 167 million subscribers, and Amazon counts about 150 million, though that figure is no doubt inflated because its video service is a perk of the broader Prime service. Third-place Hulu has about 30 million subscribers.

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