ViacomCBS Expects 16 Million Streaming Video Subscribers in 2020

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.

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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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Conversation 11 comments

  • behindmyscreen

    22 February, 2020 - 8:53 am

    <p>They should consider making PlutoTV part of CBS all access as an ad only tier</p>

  • j_c

    22 February, 2020 - 9:12 am

    <p>The annoyance of having so many streaming services is somewhat blunted by the freedom you have to jump between them. I did All Access the last month to give Picard and Discovery a shot. Wasn’t thrilled with either of them so I just hit cancel. I regularly do a month or two of HBO and binge watch a series or some movies and then cancel. Still cheaper and more convenient than going out to a movie every month.</p>

    • wolters

      Premium Member
      22 February, 2020 - 11:23 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#522539">In reply to j_c:</a></em></blockquote><p>I tried discovery but just couldn't get into the direction it was going…and to have yet another prequel didn't help either.</p><p><br></p><p>Picard is better but slowly losing interest in it. </p>

  • sherlockholmes

    Premium Member
    22 February, 2020 - 10:26 am

    <p>Not with that crappy new STAR TREK Show. </p>

  • hellcatm

    22 February, 2020 - 11:46 am

    <p>If this happens it breaks my heart. I think Gene Roddenberry would be against a paid streaming service. I was hoping CBS All Access would be a flop so they would put the show on regular TV then to Netflix. So many streaming services isn't good. BUT I wonder how many people watch Star Trek, then halt the service until its back on (and the whole season is on CBSAA) and after they binge the show they halt the service again. That's what I'll be doing…Same with shows on HBO and other services. The only constant will probably be Netflix and maybe Hulu, and of course Prime Video because you get it with Amazon Prime. </p>

    • IanYates82

      Premium Member
      23 February, 2020 - 5:47 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#522553">In reply to HellcatM:</a></em></blockquote><p>Oddly enough, in Australia, Star Trek Discovery comes via Netflix and Star Trek Picard comes via Amazon Prime. Yet CBS own one of our 4 main television stations (channel 10) as of a year or so ago.</p>

      • beckoningeagle

        Premium Member
        24 February, 2020 - 8:00 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#522660">In reply to IanYates82:</a></em></blockquote><p>Even odlier, in Puerto Rico we can't use CBS All Access at all because CBS is the only company who hasn't figured out that PR is part of USA or didn't take a history lesson. </p>

    • lvthunder

      Premium Member
      24 February, 2020 - 11:43 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#522553">In reply to HellcatM:</a></em></blockquote><p>You have to look at a streaming service like a traditional TV channel and not a cable provider.</p>

  • chaad_losan

    24 February, 2020 - 7:42 pm


  • zicoz

    25 February, 2020 - 8:02 am

    <p>The streaming market is going to crash so hard soon. The content is spread across too many different companies now. </p>

  • Rob_Wade

    25 February, 2020 - 5:22 pm

    <p>I joined when they start that disgusting Star Trek Discovery series. I cancelled shortly thereafter. And "Picard" is not helping their case at all. CBS can rot.</p>

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