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UPDATE 1-CBS eyes ad-free version of streaming digital offering
November 4, 2015 / 12:45 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-CBS eyes ad-free version of streaming digital offering

(Adds estimates on subscribers from Evercore ISI)

By Jessica Toonkel

Nov 3 (Reuters) - CBS Corp is discussing launching a higher-priced ad-free version of its All Access streaming digital video service, Chief Executive Les Moonves said on Tuesday.

Offering an ad-free version of the service, which currently costs $5.99 per month, “is absolutely something we are thinking about,” Moonves told analysts on the company’s third-quarter earnings calls. “We have had discussions, ‘How about if we do $9.99 with no ads?”

CBS introduced All Access last year, but has not disclosed subscriber numbers. Moonves said on the call that it saw the biggest monthly subscriber growth ever in September.

CBS would follow in the footsteps of video streaming service Hulu which launched an ad-free version of its offering in September at $11.99 per month.

Similarly, Alphabet Inc’s YouTube said last month it would launch a $10 a month subscription option in the United States that will be ad-free.

Evercore ISI estimates CBS has 30,000-40,000 subscribers for All Access and should have over 1 million next year.

Whether CBS could get consumers to pay more for an ad-free version of All Access largely depends on the content they offer, said Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser.

This week, CBS announced that in January 2017 it would air a new Star Trek series, with a preview episode being broadcast and the rest of the episodes aired on All Access.

“If you are a Star Trek fan, you may pay more for ad-free,” Wieser said. (Reporting by Jessica Toonkel; Additional reporting by Lehar Maan in Bengalaru; Editing by Alan Crosby and Leslie Adler)

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