Earlier this year, CBS All Access tapped the trove of ViacomCBS assets and introduced a mini library of Paramount films to its service—a move that made a good service even better. Around the same time, the company’s top brass said it was gearing up to introduce “major changes” to expand the service’s features and offerings, and we’ve been looking forward to seeing what the service had in store.
CBS All Access showed a bit of its hand today, announcing it added some 3,500 episodes to its service from roughly 70 new shows, including series from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, TV Land, VH1, and the Smithsonian Channel. It’s also added more Paramount Pictures flicks since its initial announcement in May, with more than 150 movies now available to stream. That’s on top of CBS’s already expansive library on the service.
Plus, there’s the service’s live TV and expanding sports coverage, and of course, the stellar CBS All Access originals, which include Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone and Star Trek: Picard. Beginning next week and through the end of the year, the service will also be premiering seasons for new and returning originals. Star Trek: Lower Decks, The Stand, The Untitled Richard Linklater Project, and more will hit the service before the end of the year.
Returning users will also notice a new interface, which includes better recommendations, a curated homepage, and new hubs and categories to help users navigate the arrival of new content from such a diverse collection of brands. One of the great things about CBS All Access is that it’s available pretty much everywhere—and yes, that includes Roku and Amazon. A spokesperson told Gizmodo these new interface changes are live for everyone immediately with the exception of those on Comcast Flex and Xbox One, which should get the update early next week.
The CBS All Access update comes just weeks after the debut of rival NBC’s Peacock streaming service, which is not a 1:1 copy but similar in terms of bringing together its catalog, plus originals, plus a touch of live TV and sports. They’re about the same price when compared to Peacock’s premium tiers. Peacock costs $5 per month with ads and $10 per month without. CBS All Access is $6 per month with ads and $10 per month to go ad-free.
The key difference between the two—setting aside their catalogs, of course—is that Peacock offers an ad-supported free tier sans originals and some content. If it’s originals you want, though, CBS All Access is the clear winner by a long shot. Peacock still has some work to do there, though its legacy content makes a pretty compelling case for the service.
CBS All Access plans to add around 30,000 episodes to its product in the months ahead before it gets a full rebrand sometime in early 2021.