ViacomCBS, the media conglomerate formed by the merger — or rather re-merger — of Viacom and CBS Corporation in December, is in a strange position: it is at once early and late to the streaming wars.
CBS was ahead of the game when it launched CBS All Access in 2014. Built around CBS’s network programming, the platform offers a mix of live tv and streamed shows (including originals). Following the merger, All Access was brought under the same ownership as Viacom’s range of more specialized streamers, including Showtime, Pluto TV, BET+, and Noggin.
So far, however, ViacomCBS’s scattered offerings haven’t coalesced into a substantial streaming product to rival the likes of Netflix, Disney+, or Warnermedia’s forthcoming HBO Max. That’s set to change. Earlier this month, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish announced that the company will relaunch All Access as a fully-fledged streaming behemoth with an expanded library of content and a broader slate of original programming.