Late final week, CBS All Entry surprise-dropped greater than 3,500 TV episodes into the service from the Viacom aspect of the December 2019 Viacom-CBS merger. The brand new titles — together with RuPaul’s Drag Race, Chappelle’s Present, The Legend of Korra, and 21 seasons of The Problem — characterize roughly one-third of the brand new additions to the service for its relaunch in early 2021.
In his most detailed interview up to now in regards to the relaunch of CBS All Entry and simply forward of the corporate quarterly earnings report on Thursday, ViacomCBS chief digital officer Marc Debevoise tells Decider:
- ViacomCBS will probably divide the present app that’s used for each CBS All Entry and cable-authenticated viewing of CBS exhibits into separate apps.
- Showtime, BET+ and Noggin will proceed as separate companies and won’t be accessible as add-ons to the relaunched service, although a reduction for subscribing to each CBS All Entry and Showtime will probably proceed.
- The relaunched service will probably have BET-branded originals that aren’t accessible on the BET cable channel or the BET+ streamer.
- Nickelodeon will get a big bump of further kids’s content material with the relaunch.
- ViacomCBS is “not asking distribution partners to change their business plans” and expects to proceed to be accessible after the relaunch on all of the platforms the place it’s at present accessible, together with Roku and Amazon Fireplace TV.
- Episodes of CBS exhibits will proceed to be accessible the subsequent day on the relaunched service, however episodes from exhibits on BET, Comedy Central, MTV and different ViacomCBS cable networks won’t turn into accessible on the streamer till a 12 months or extra after these seasons finish.
- The corporate has not but determined whether or not to finish the Comedy Central Now, MTV Hits and Nick Hits channels on Apple TV and Amazon Channels that are actually successfully a part of CBS All Entry.
That’s along with the announcement late final week that Kamp Koral, a SpongeBob SquarePants spinoff sequence, will premiere in early 2021 on the relaunched streamer quite than on the Nickelodeon cable channel as initially deliberate.
DECIDER: I’m glad to see Viacom and CBS’s mixed catalogs lastly begin to come collectively. That is one thing I’ve been hoping CBS All Entry would do because the merger.
MARC DEBEVOISE: We heard you. [Laughs.]
Is the concept of including catalog titles to CBS All Entry that subscribers will spend extra time on the service?
I actually hope that including extra content material will add extra engagement for present subscribers, and it provides extra worth to the subscription over all. Retaining the value the identical provides our service a leg to go after subscribers which have churned out and new subscribers, and it provides us instruments to have interaction completely different audiences.
We now have a big quantity of content material for youths with Nickelodeon, and that can broaden extra over time. We’ve Comedy Central, which is a a lot younger-male focus than the comedy we had on the service. Similar factor with MTV and BET, which have a youthful, reality-driven focus.
CBS All Entry will relaunch in early 2021. What does that truly imply?
The service in the present day is successfully an improve of the CBS app, and we actually need to have it stand by itself. We’re going to rebrand the service, add 10,000 episodes and flicks to it, and develop a slate of unique unique content material from the manufacturers inside the service. That’s going to take a while to construct these originals, get the catalog content material collectively, and redo the interface.
CBS can have an app that you could improve to this service, however we need to have it considerably separated. We knew after we selected that technique that it will take us 9 months or so to do it, and we realized three months later — which is now — that we might launch the manufacturers, change the interface a bit, and go forward and launch one-third of the content material now and evolve the service over the subsequent six months.
Will the brand new service sit within the present CBS All Entry app the best way HBO Max took over the HBO Max app on most platforms?
We’re nonetheless working via the small print of that. What we wish is that for those who’re a subscriber, the app will flip into the brand new app. For those who use simply the CBS app authenticated with a cable operator, then we’ll make that accessible on a devoted CBS app and expertise.
I’m positive you’re watching the carriage disputes now which can be maintaining HBO Max and Peacock off of Roku and Amazon Fireplace TV. How are you excited about that together with your relaunch coming in early 2021?
We’ve been available in the market for 5 years with an outstanding service and nice relationships with these gamers, and we anticipate these partnerships to proceed. We’re offering an improved service, and we’re not asking distribution companions to alter their enterprise plans or change issues in some loopy method. We’re in an ideal place to keep up our distribution standing on each main platform.
Has watching HBO Max and Peacock navigate their launches factored into your plans?
I wouldn’t touch upon what these companies have carried out, however now we have the historical past and the sturdy relationships. We’re not owned by a distributor or hooked up to a distributor, so now we have a really diversified subscriber base throughout the entire main distributors.
CBS can have the Tremendous Bowl in February 2021. Are you hoping to relaunch round that?
We don’t have a particular date but for the relaunch and rebrand, however the first quarter of 2021 has plenty of alternatives between, hopefully, the NFL playoffs, the Tremendous Bowl, the Grammy Awards and March Insanity.
The brand new service would be the identical factor as CBS All Entry insofar as it’s going to have the identical worth and identical content material catalog as CBS All Entry?
That’s right. We’ll have the dwell feed of CBS, we’ll have the present seasons and catalog seasons of CBS exhibits that now we have now, and we’ll have episodes and flicks from the opposite ViacomCBS manufacturers, together with a whole bunch of titles from Paramount Footage.
Is the concept of adjusting the title of the service that you really want one thing that connotes a broader vary of content material than “CBS”?
We wish a reputation that may sit over these manufacturers and mixture these manufacturers for customers. We’re engaged on that now and can have extra to say on that within the not-too-distant future.
The brand new interface that you simply simply launched is organized round six nameplates — CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Smithsonian Channel. Will a brand new Comedy Central or MTV sequence on the service be marketed as a Comedy Central or MTV sequence?
The perfect instance I can provide you is Kamp Koral that we simply introduced, which is a by-product of SpongeBob that will likely be unique to the brand new service. Within the Nickelodeon part on CBS All Entry, we now have 11 seasons of SpongeBob SquarePants. New seasons will nonetheless go on the Nickelodeon tv community, and we’ll get them a year-plus later when the come into past-season standing. We’ll have The SpongeBob Film: Sponge on the Run across the launch of the brand new service. And we’ll have Kamp Koral there in that Nickelodeon part.
How will Sponge on the Run work? Will it’s be an unique that can keep on the service eternally?
Will probably be an unique following a paid VOD launch. Like Trolls World Tour and Scoob did. We’ll do this on PVOD for a brief window, after which it will likely be on the service longterm.
Are there different upcoming movie titles that can work the identical method?
We don’t have others to announce, however we might actually do extra of these going ahead. We imagine within the theatrical enterprise longterm, and we additionally promote films to different retailers.
Do you may have licensing or carriage obstacles to bringing one thing like The Day by day Present with Trevor Noah to the service with same-day or next-day episodes, or are you making an affirmative choice to not carry it?
We’ve determined that our windowing for cable will likely be for past-season content material.
So when the subsequent season of Siesta Key is on MTV, you received’t have next-day episodes on the service?
Proper, we’d have that in a while.
We can have 23 straight weeks of unique episodes beginning Thursday with Star Trek: Decrease Decks, which is an animated comedy from one of many writers on Rick and Morty. There’s large curiosity within the present. It’s probably the most trailer views we’ve ever gotten for an unique sequence. That runs for 10 weeks, after which Discovery will begin the week after and run for 13 weeks. Star Trek: Picard Season 2 will likely be prepared someday in 2021.
I’ve been rewatching the primary seasons of Reno 911! and Kroll Present on the Comedy Central Now channel that’s $four a month on Apple TV and Amazon Channels. Will channels like that, MTV Hits and Nick Hits go away now that the catalogs are on CBS All Entry?
We’ll have an overlap between these channels and CBS All Entry for the second. What we do with these channels in the long term is TBD.
What about BET+?
BET+ will proceed for positive; that’s a three way partnership with Tyler Perry and has a singular set of content material that’s not going to be on BET or on CBS All Entry. We’ll have BET illustration on All Entry and wish to construct originals for that, however it will likely be separate from BET+.
What about Noggin?
Noggin is a singular service we run that has content material for preschoolers with video games and academic content material, and it additionally has preschool video content material from Nick and Nick Jr. We can have the video content material in All Entry however not the sport content material, which can proceed to be a standalone service.
We didn’t launch the preschool content material on this spherical for All Entry, however we’ll launch it later. We’ve parental controls constructed into the service, however we’re constructing out some specialised options for that age group.
Showtime is out there so as to add to companies like Hulu and AT&T. When will you have the ability to add it to CBS All Entry?
You’ll be able to already do it while you join CBS All Entry, and you’ll add CBS All Entry while you join Showtime.
Showtime just isn’t built-in into CBS All Entry, although, the best way it’s with Hulu. Do you need to combine Showtime and CBS All Entry collectively?
That’s not one thing we’re considering for the time being. We need to work to develop the companies collectively and we’re excited about how one can bundle them.
You don’t need Showtime and CBS All Entry customers to ultimately have an built-in expertise?
Properly, that’s a pointed query. [Laughs.] We’ve Showtime as an add-on service to CBS All Entry and vice versa, however now we have not constructed them as channels of one another.
That won’t be part of the relaunch in early 2021.
That’s not on the present roadmap.
So the relaunched app can have originals in these Viacom nameplates and extra kids’s content material. Are these the 2 large issues that will likely be completely different after the relaunch?
We’re engaged on options and performance. We’ve bought unique sports activities. The Nationwide Ladies’s Soccer League simply completed up a event on the service. The UEFA Champions League and Europa League are about to begin. New performance coming to the service within the fall will present you how one can toggle from recreation to recreation when there’s as many as six video games occurring at one time.
We made some large personalization modifications on this spherical of updates to the service. The brand new residence web page is now far more machine-learning pushed, so the stuff you see will begin to filter by your habits within the carousels and rows that you simply see. We’ve added extra genres. We’ve Trending to convey extra in style content material to the entrance. Extra of that’s coming.
How will that look? If I watch plenty of UEFA soccer, I’ll see it greater up within the consumer interface?
The service will use what you watch, what different individuals watch, and what’s new, and it layers these issues collectively. You’ll see Trending, Beneficial for You, and Maintain Watching, and also you’re viewing will drive what carousels you’ll see subsequent — comedies or dramas or youngsters exhibits. These will start to kind extra algorithmically than by our selections. We’ll additionally begin to spotlight issues which can be on now like information and sports activities.
Are you planning so as to add extra top-level manufacturers apart from the six that you simply’re exhibiting proper now?
By no means say by no means, however we don’t have speedy plans so as to add to these primary manufacturers.
Will the August 20 MTV Video Music Awards be on CBS All Entry both dwell or in some unspecified time in the future on demand?
It won’t be dwell on CBS All Entry. That will likely be accessible solely on the cable networks and on the authenticated app. If we get the on-demand rights, it will be a lot later. We’ll run plenty of join from the important thing manufacturers a year-plus later, however the one broadcast or cable community working dwell on the service is CBS.
CBS All Entry has made dwell viewing a precedence with dwell CBS, dwell information, and dwell sports activities. How are you excited about election protection and different dwell programming going ahead?
We’ll have full and sturdy CBS Information election protection on the service. We’ll have dwell, native information and dwell, 24-hour protection on our CBSN information channel. We’ve seen large, large progress of CBSN viewing over the previous few quarters given all of the nationwide information.
Scott Porch writes in regards to the TV enterprise for Decider. He’s a contributing author for The Day by day Beast and a podcast producer for Starburns Audio. You’ll be able to observe him on Twitter @ScottPorch.