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CBS Has Biggest Direct-To-Consumer Growth Ever, Up 71% Year-Over-Year

Jason Gurwin

In February, CBS announced that had surpassed 8 million direct-to-consumer subscribers of CBS All Access and Showtime. The company originally projected that it would take another two years to reach that number of subscribers.

Today, as part of their 2019 First Quarter Earnings, the company shared that they saw their strongest growth of their direct-to-consumer business ever. While they didn’t update the exact numbers, they shared that direct-to-consumer subs grew 71% from last year, which they pegged to the return of original series Billions on Showtime and the launch of The Twilight Zone on CBS All Access.

The company has new goal to reach 25 million domestic subscribers of both of their OTT services by 2022. By comparison, Hulu now has nearly 27 million paid subscribers, while Netflix surpassed 60 million domestic subscribers last month.

CBS All Access has aggressively added new original content especially around the Star Trek universe. The company recently started their second season of Star Trek: Discovery and will be adding an animated series called Star Trek: Lower Decks, as well as one featuring Patrick Stewart as Jean Luc Picard and another with Crazy Rich Asians star Michelle Yeoh. After the success of its first season, the service recently renewed digital remake of The Twilight Zone with Jordan Peele for a second season.

Both Showtime and CBS All Access have benefited from the additional reach of content aggregators like Amazon Prime Video Channels — which some have pegged at 50% of their OTT subscribers. With the recent launch of Roku’s own premium subscription manager, and the upcoming launch of Apple TV Channels — it wouldn’t be a surprise to see these services to continue their rapid growth.