BACKGROUND: Rob Gelick oversees CBS All Access, CBS’s digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, the CBS apps and CBS.com, as well as the CBS Television Distribution Digital businesses. His team also leads development and production of original digital content to support CBS shows, including original editorial and video for 40-plus shows’ branded pages on CBS.com, as well as social accounts. Before joining CBS as a mobile executive in 2008 he was a founding executive at Helio, the mobile content provider, following eight years at Motorola.
2017 HIGHLIGHTS: Gelick noted that many milestones were achieved at CBS All Access, which was the first direct-to-consumer subscription offering from a broadcaster when it launched in 2014. “We hit the 2 million-subscriber mark and we continue into this year to see strong subscriber growth.” The service’s strong slate of exclusive original content includes The Good Fight, a spinoff of The Good Wife; No Activity, the comedy from Funny or Die; and, of course, Star Trek: Discovery. “When we launched that last year, that premiere marked a record day, week and month for the service,” Gelick says. More new originals are on the menu for 2018, notably including the Twilight Zone reboot executive-produced by Get Out’s Jordan Peele.
WHAT’S AHEAD: CBS All Access is on the cusp of its first international launch, in the second quarter of 2018, in Canada. “That will be the first of many markets to come,” Gelick says. He noted that 2017 was the first full season of NFL games on the OTT service, for which live TV is a big driver. Add NCAA March Madness to the current mix, the big college-basketball event “which we think will be another big driver for our subscription service.”