Should Netflix be looking over its shoulder? Yesterday, HBO made the surprise announcement that in 2015 they would be launching a stand-alone streaming service. But today, CBS beat them to punch by launching CBS All Access, which for the low price of $5.99/month grants access to almost everything the network has to offer. The key word here being “almost.”
On the plus side, the service will allow users to watch episodes of fifteen current prime time shows the day after they air, while also opening up the every season of eight shows including “The Good Wife,” “Blue Bloods” and, uh, “Survivor” (people still watch that?). And that’s not all. If you want to dig into the vaults, CBS will make more than 5,000 episodes of vintage fare like “Star Trek,” “Cheers,” “McGyver” and “Twin Peaks” available. Pretty cool, right? Well, there are some notable absences from their new app. CBS All Access will not offer the network’s biggest cash cow “The Big Bang Theory” because it’s produced by Warner Bros. which controls the rights. And the same goes for the NFL. But it’s not like either of those things are difficult to come by.
“Our focus is to develop the best cross-platform video experience possible,” Jim Lanzone, President and CEO, CBS Interactive said in a statement. “We want our audiences to be able to watch CBS’s industry-leading content live and on demand whenever and wherever they want. CBS All Access delivers on that promise by giving our audience not only more CBS content, but also more ways to watch in a seamless user experience. We’ve integrated the service into our existing offerings and look forward to bringing it to all major digital platforms – including additional connected devices – in the coming months.”
So we’re clearly starting to see the future of how we’ll consume programming. But here’s the question: if we’re cutting the cord to save money and have easier access digitally, only to have to sign up and pay for multiple streaming services, is anything really changing except the screen we watch television on? [Variety]