Can ViacomCBS' Splintered Streaming Strategy Work

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Can ViacomCBS’ 5 Separate Streaming Services Compete Against Bulked-Up Competitors?

Newly combined company believes its parts are greater than the sum

While its major rivals in the burgeoning streaming space are pooling all their assets into one, big-top offering, ViacomCBS is going against that notion, believing that the individual parts are greater than the sum.

ViacomCBS plans to keep its to main streaming offering separate, pollinating CBS All Access with content from Viacom networks like MTV and Nickelodeon while also beefing up its Showtime streaming service with Viacom’s Paramount films. In addition, the company will still continue its ad-supported streamer Pluto TV, continue the kids-oriented subscription service Noggin and go ahead with the fall launch of BET+ as yet another subscription product.

“We look at this as an opportunity to attack a consumer market, which is segmenting,” Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said during a call with analysts on Tuesday to discuss the merger. “There’s a free part of the market. There’s obviously a subscription part.”

But one analyst argues that ViacomCBS could be missing a chance to supercharge CBS All Access into a real player in the streaming game. “It seems to make perfect sense to combine everything. That’s why you buy other assets,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, told TheWrap. “In most mergers like this, that’s the…

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Tim Baysinger