Feb 25, 2020 - Economy & Business

Investors are wary of ViacomCBS' new streaming strategy

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Shares of the newly-combined ViacomCBS dropped a startling 15% last week, after the company announced plans for a new streaming service during its first earnings report as a combined entity.

Why it matters: The company is now worth far less combined ($17 billion in market capitalization) than the two companies were worth separately (around $30 billion) prior to their merger.

Details: Analysts have had mixed reactions to the company's streaming plans, which includes expanding CBS All Access to include exclusive content from Viacom's cable networks, like MTV and Nickelodeon, as well as Viacom's film studio Paramount.

  • Some argue the company's streaming service strategy isn't clear, and that it's confusing as to how the company will balance selling its assets to consumers directly while also keeping its traditional TV business afloat.
  • Others suggest that building off the already successful CBS All Access tech stack and model gives the company a strong start.

By the numbers:

  • 22 million ad-supported streaming monthly active users
  • 11 million subscription-streaming subscribers (Showtime and CBS All Access)
  • $1.6 billion in streaming & digital video revenue

Be smart: The company clearly sees a combined streaming service as a huge pillar of its corporate strategy moving forward. Not only did the company release its streaming revenues for the first time, but it bought sponsored social media posts to promote the numbers shortly after.

Go deeper: George Cheeks to replace CBS chief Joe Ianniello at ViacomCBS

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