CBS launches paid subscription service for Android TV
Broadcaster currently has News and Sports apps for Apple TV, plus iOS app that offers All Access service, but how many subscriptions services will cord cutters be willing to buy?
It has been the dream of many TV viewers to completely cut the cord and buy TV content piecemeal, the thinking being that there is so little good content among the many channels being offered by cable companies, that buying the one or two networks they like will save them money.
But I seriously have my doubts about that. What one gets with Comcast or other TV cable companies is a lot of choice for a lot of money, and experience that quite a number of viewers enjoy. The alternative to this is, of course, less choice for less money.
But channels piecemeal sounds good until you add it all up. For instance, after you have bought HBO for $15 a month in order to watch Game of Thrones, what else will you buy? Do you want to watch Monday Night Football, then you need to buy ESPN. Want 60 Minutes, then you’ll have to find an app to buy from CBS. It’s bound to add up.
That doesn’t mean a lot of consumes, including me, may still choose to go this way. Apple certainly thinks that having channels as apps is the future, and so do the other TV box makers such as Google.
Below is the announcement for the launch of CBS All Access, a subscription TV service which is priced at $5.99 a month.
[Currently CBS has two apps for the Apple TV, one for News and one for Sports. This looks like something they might have launched for the Apple TV, but as part of Apple’s own subscription package that is apparently proving hard to put together. If Apple has given up on that idea we may see this app launched soon for the Apple TV, replacing the two existing apps. CBS currently offers a similar app for iOS devices, where an All Access subscription gets you access to live and archived programming (and one could, in theory, then AirPlay that content to an Apple TV) – that app is not exactly popular with users, however, if the reviews in iTunes are any guide.]
One can kind of see where all this is going. Some cable channels will not be able to charge for their content and will likely be forced to launch free apps, while others will try and replace the large sums of money they get from TV providers by launching paid subscription services such as this CBS app. But there are also likely to be a lot of channels that lie in between, with some experimenting with paid services and others going free. Frankly, it will be a mess, just like the app stores.
Here is the announcement from CBS:
NEW YORK, NY – September 15, 2015 – CBS Corporation today announced the availability of CBS All Access, the CBS Television Network’s digital subscription Video On Demand and live streaming service, on Google’s smart TV platform Android TV.
For $5.99 a month, CBS All Access will offer Android TV users thousands of episodes from the current season, previous seasons and classic shows on demand, as well as the ability to stream their local CBS Television station live in more than 85 markets across the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, with more to be added soon.
CBS All Access subscribers can also use the service on their Android and iOS devices via the CBS App, online at CBS.com, through Chromecast, Roku players and Roku TV, with additional connected devices being added in the coming months.
“We’ve seen a tremendous response from users on the connected device and mobile platforms we’ve brought the CBS All Access service to thus far,” said Marc DeBevoise, Executive Vice President and General Manager, CBS Digital Media. “In fact, subscribers are watching two times the amount of CBS content as non-subscribers on digital platforms. Bringing the service to Android TV gives viewers more flexibility and access to CBS’s world-class programming on whichever platform they choose.”
Android TV users will have the opportunity to watch clips though the app and browse the entire library of full episodes without being a CBS All Access subscriber. New subscribers can sign up by visiting http://www.cbs.com/all-access/androidtv. Current CBS All Access subscribers can simply log in using their existing username and password.
The CBS All Access app brings all of the benefits currently available to CBS All Access subscribers to Android TV, including:
Full current seasons of 19 primetime shows with episodes available the day after they air, including NCIS, SCORPION, THE GOOD WIFE, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS and more.
The ability to live stream the local CBS station in more than 85 markets across the U.S., with more to be added as affiliates join the CBS All Access service.
Full past seasons of 10 major current series including THE GOOD WIFE, NCIS and HAWAII FIVE-0.
More than 6,000 episodes of CBS Classics in an advertising-free environment including all episodes of hits like STAR TREK, CHEERS, FRASIER, and CSI: MIAMI.
Access to exclusive additional content for CBS Television’s biggest special events like THE GRAMMY® AWARDS, THE ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS and THE VICTORIA’S SECRET FASHION SHOW.
To learn more about the CBS All Access on Android TV and to sign up for a free weeklong trial visit: www.cbs.com/all-access/androidtv