September 28 by Michael Carrell
With their valuable franchise asset, Star Trek, CBS is deciding to “boldly go” with a subscription model with a different paradigm.
Other streaming media services like Netflix, $7.99 per month without ads, no contract, have their original content: Stranger Things, House of Cards, Daredevil; they drop all the seasons episodes all at once so that people can binge watch.
Game of Thrones on HBO, $14.99 per month, without ads, would release a show one week at a time: broadcast; cable; satellite; as well as HBO Now & HBO Go, all at the same time.
The new Star Trek Discovery series was expressly developed for the CBS All Access service, $5.99 per month with ads, $9.99 per month without ads, both no contract.
To Boldy Go Where No One Has Gone Before
CBS is not broadcasting the entire series over the airwaves or on cable – just the first two episodes over two weeks. But on All Access, the first two episodes are being aired simultaneously on their streaming service and on Netflix in 188 non-US countries. Then only on All Access, the rest of the Star Trek Discovery series chapter 1 with 6 episodes, will be released weekly through Nov 5th. A mid-season break over the holidays, then chapter 2 with the remaining 7 episodes, will be released in January 2018, only in All Access.
Valuable Assets: Taking Them Beyond the Neutral Zone
As of 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, the Star Trek Movie Franchise is worth $2.2 Billion at the box office. At one point, the television series franchise was estimated to be worth $4 Billion to Paramount. Star Trek is a valuable asset. And adding to it, in the right way, could generate more profits, not to sound too “Ferengi” about it.
Maybe it’s working? Though no specific numbers were reported, but Sunday night the network claimed that stats on that day outstripped the previous record from the 2017 Grammy Award. According to Forbes, and from what I saw in the premier episode, it looks like it’s worth paying for, based on the movie-like production quality. “If we don’t pay for the art we enjoy there will be no money to create the art we crave,” says Forbes Film Critic, Scott Mendelson. You’re essentially paying for access to the content sooner, as Mendelson says, “It’s little different than buying a video game for more money when it’s new or a lot less when it’s not.” Or as I choose to call it, “The Time Value of Star Trek”.
How Can Your Company Learn From This First Contact
This is an example of a large company, in this case, CBS, with $13.2 Billion in revenue per year, using a diversity of charge models to monetize the value they bring to their customers. Brilliant!
Large companies, across all industries are looking to add subscriptions to what they offer. For software or media and entertainment companies, perhaps it’s a bit easier because their products, for the most part, can be delivered electronically. For long standing industries where physical goods and professional services are core to their business model, they could add a technology component that “digitizes their industry”. But it’s going to take more than just a simple subscriptions. And these enterprises do not want to interfere with or disrupt existing revenue streams, they want to add to them.
And because large companies typically use omni-channel selling, (direct sales teams, channels, distributors, partner portal, customer portal, E-commerce sites) they’ll need solutions for quoting and contracts through sales, orders through E-commerce and portals, and an agile system to manage the fulfillment of orders, renewal of subscriptions, and billing for an entire federation of diverse offers, and recognizing revenue across the time, not the space-time continuum, just across time.
The business solutions of quoting and contracting, working in harmony with order management, billing, revenue recognition, and leveraging the behavior-changing power of incentives to drive outcomes…the sum of the parts are greater than the whole. The business outcomes from the many, outweigh the results of the few…or the one