When Network 10 went into administration in mid-2017 reports emerged CBS was circling an acquisition, with particular interest in launching a localised version of its streaming platform CBS All Access.
Fast forward to three years later, what do we make of 10 All Access, which launched in December 2018?
Stacked side by side against Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime and even newcomers Disney+ and Apple TV+, its offering in original content is meagre at best.
While other platforms are adding new originals every month (and some every week), 10 All Access could only confirm 2 new titles for 2020.
First-run original titles on 10 All Access:
- Tooning Out The News (2020)
- Interrogation (2020)
- Tell Me A Story
- The Twilight Zone
- Strange Angel
- One Dollar
- Why Women Kill
While the platform only carries Network 10 and CBS content, it is unfortunate deals were already in place for Star Trek: Discovery with Netflix and The Good Fight with SBS (the latter screens on 10AA later). Not even Star Trek: Picard, which was commissioned for CBS All Access, was used as a subscriber drawcard -sold to Amazon Prime in Australia.
At $9.99 a month (with a free 30 day trial), 10 All Access is dominated by 10 and CBS archival seasons such as NCIS, Survivor, The Bachelor, 90210, Celebrity Name Game, Five Bedrooms, Gunsmoke, Jamie Oliver, Neighbours and SEAL Team.
During the pandemic both viewing and subscription has lifted with streams up 54% in March, and new subscriptions at their best ever month (numbers were not disclosed).
But some observers think 10 All Access is struggling in a competitive market.
TV historian Andrew Mercado said, “10 All Access is a complete mystery to me. They have barely any original titles, with no buzz, and their advertising push is about paying $10 a month to watch every episode of NCIS ad-free. Seriously? 10Play has more interesting content and costs nothing! Is 10 All Access deliberately meant to fail as some sort of tax-write off?”
“You have to bring your A-game or you risk becoming irrelevant.”
TV critic Colin Vickery said, “The battle between streaming services is even more competitive than free-to-air. When you have Netflix rolling out smashes like Tiger King plus quality content from Foxtel and Stan and the introduction of Disney+ in tight economic circumstances you have to bring your A-game or you risk becoming irrelevant.”
James Manning, Editor at Mediaweek, added, “With just eight originals on the platform there is very little reason to subscribe for most people. I definitely have the feeling that, despite claims from the company otherwise, streaming is not a priority at present (even moreso after the impact of COVID-19). The company is reporting its latest results next week and maybe that will shed some light as to where it is going with All Access.”
“We are regularly adding new content to our library”
But 10 All Access spokesperson disagreed, noting Q1 marked its most watched quarter to date.
“We are regularly adding new content to our library. With over 10,000 episodes on the platform including classics, originals and favourites from Australia and around the world ready to be binged, 10 All Access provides great value for its subscribers,” they said.