ViacomCBS has raised the curtains on its long-anticipated international streamer, with plans set for an early 2021 launch.
Having teased the prospect of a “broad pay streaming product” again in Might, ViacomCBS Networks Worldwide has unveiled plans for a premium SVOD service for all audiences, underpinned by main output offers with Showtime and CBS All Entry and a “super-sized” number of content material from ViacomCBS manufacturers together with CBS, MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and a few first-run Paramount movies.
The streamer, which is able to obtain bespoke branding in the approaching months, might be rolled out early subsequent yr in Australia, Latin America and the Nordics, with extra worldwide markets to observe. In some international locations, the platform gained’t be ranging from scratch: CBS All Entry is already current in Australia and can merely relaunch as the brand new streamer. The identical applies for the Paramount Plus service in the Nordics, Jap Europe and Latin America.
The brand new platform, which was mentioned by ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish on the corporate’s earnings name on Thursday, will supply unique premieres of all Showtime titles, together with new collection “Halo” and “American Rust,” in addition to CBS All Entry originals like “Responsible Celebration” and “The Harper Home.” To this point, many of those originals have been bought to third-party international platforms and broadcasters in vastly profitable output offers, and questions will now be raised about the way forward for these pacts.
ViacomCBS has confirmed to Selection, nonetheless, that it’ll “proceed to license product selectively to third events in worldwide markets.” For instance, in the primary batch of launch markets, the brand new service might be house to all Showtime premieres, however that doesn’t embrace collection already licensed to third events.
“We’re going to proceed working with our colleagues in our distribution workforce to work out the suitable strategy to allocate rights and windowing in these markets,” David Lynn, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks Worldwide, tells Selection. “Now we have greater than sufficient content material to proceed to do licensing.”
The query, nonetheless, is whether or not main titles like CBS All Entry authentic “Star Trek: Picard” — for which Amazon Prime Video swooped for international rights and spent main coin pushing in markets such because the U.Ok. — will proceed to reside on that platform globally past their authentic deal phrases, or carry over to the brand new ViacomCBS streamer.
Different applications set to launch in all three markets, to various levels of exclusivity, embrace “The Good Spouse,” “The Affair,” “Californication,” “Deadwood,” “Dexter,” “Home of Lies,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Oz” and the unique “Twin Peaks.”
The platform, powered by the identical tech used for CBS All Entry, will even mix films from Paramount Footage and premieres and field units from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Community, in addition to originals from in-house manufacturing outfit ViacomCBS Worldwide Studios in some markets.
“The content material providing will differ per market,” says Lynn, highlighting that “we’re positively going to produce native originals for the service in some, if not all, the section one markets.”
However the “general structure of the service,” as Lynn sees it, is based on unique first runs of Showtime and CBS All Entry originals, adopted by a number of first-run Paramount Footage movies and basic films in some markets, after which the ViacomCBS boxsets, alongside bespoke native content material in particular person markets “that may be both native originals, or third-party acquisitions,” provides the manager.
In the end, the platform will look to serve four-quadrant viewing by combining blockbuster and basic films, premium scripted collection, youngsters, comedy and leisure, actuality and specialist factual content material. Notably, area of interest pre-school streamer Noggin, obtainable in 65 international locations, will stay as a definite platform.
Whereas there was hypothesis at one level that AVOD service Pluto TV could also be used to broaden worldwide through an SVOD tier and premium content material providing, Lynn assures the Tom Ryan-led service will proceed as a standalone participant, quickly to launch in Brazil, France, Italy and Spain. “We wish to be large in AVOD, and we wish to be large in SVOD. These two companies I see as fully complementary to one another,” says Lynn, underlining extra cross-promotion in the long run between the 2 companies.
Launch markets have been chosen strategically. In Australia, the prevailing 10 All Entry service might be rebranded and considerably expanded. In the meantime, the Latin America launch spans Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, and the Nordic international locations embrace Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
The roll-out might be executed utilizing ViacomCBS’s current worldwide infrastructure, which spans workplaces in greater than 30 international locations, to enhance price effectivity and permit funding to be targeted on display.
Pierluigi Gazzolo, president of streaming for VCNI, added: “With greater than 200 million new streaming subscriptions due to come on-line internationally by 2025, we’re very assured we will construct a significant subscriber base in the subsequent few years. ViacomCBS is one in every of a really small handful of elite content material firms with broad sufficient content material pipelines and deep sufficient content material libraries to lead in all segments of the video leisure market.”