The 10 ViacomCBS Effect

  • Date 1st November 2021
  • Author Sue Cant
The 10 ViacomCBS Effect

Key take outs:

  • An unrivalled powerhouse for reaching the under 50s
  • A cracker of a content slate for 2022
  • Proving they really are the home of Football, picking up the rights to the FA Cup
  • Continuing their commitment across ESG with some new initiatives
  • And topping off with some exciting new ad opportunities

It’s always hard being the final network to deliver an Upfront, with a lot of expectant eyes waiting for something that we haven’t already heard or seen.

But it was a very polished Upfront from 10 ViacomCBS, albeit pretty different to the glitz and glamour we’re used to seeing. The opening segment was decidedly tongue in cheek in fact, with a fun, mischievous poke at Rod Prosser (the network’s Chief Sales Officer). He became the ‘celeb’ across many of 10’s formats; although the light-hearted promise of a Rod Prosser Doll through their consumer products offering could be the stuff of nightmares!

Prosser followed with a more serious focus around the network’s commitment to ESG (environmental, social, governance) policies. And as one of the world’s leading entertainment companies, they spoke to ‘righting the wrongs’ and contributing to a better society. Indeed, we should applaud their ongoing commitment to championing equality. They’ve literally levelled the playing field within Football and will continue to do so in 2022. Prosser also touched on several initiatives within indigenous community education, including partnering with Career Trackers to offer paid internships for students from remote indigenous schools.

Next up, we were promised a showcase of scale and depth across linear, paid TV, Digital, BVOD, SVOD and some big announcements.

The 10 ViacomCBS group has seen growth across overall business scale, reach, audience and revenue – now reaching more than 15m Aussies every month with viewing shares growing in the last 18 months. That said, there wasn’t as much of a focus on stats or numbers compared to what we saw with Nine & Seven. Instead the focus was on 10 play and Paramount+, both of which have become very strong offerings.

10 play has had its biggest year ever with live streaming growing even faster. Registered users are up 79% to 4.4m, with a forecast of an additional 2m in the next two months and further accelerated growth expected in 2022. Combine this with the successful launch of their SVOD platform Paramount+ to deliver a ‘mountain of entertainment’; and their vision of connecting everyone, everywhere continues.

Not really surprising when we consider the growth of ecommerce, that 10 then announced two new product offerings for 2022:

Dynamic E-trade placements – a real-time solution for retail clients to showcase inventory and products; advertisers will be able to dynamically change pricing, images and offers every 5 minutes. This will be a great option for clients with multiple product offers, given the ability to change creative as things change such as pricing or product availability.

Happy Hour on 10Play – an interesting and unique offering which will showcase a brand whilst linking their message to an ad-free viewing hour via a 60sec brand TVC with an adjacent tag, effectively allowing a brand to reward the audience with an uninterrupted hour of viewing simply by watching a 60-sec TVC.

Leveraging the global scale of CBS, early next year will also see the launch of a new ‘Promote Australia USA’ initiative. This will enable Aussie brands to connect to the global CBS ecosystem, unlocking opportunities to have a bigger voice and promote themselves in one of the biggest markets in the world.

Top of the class for under 50s content

I really was surprised and delighted to be reacquainted with the maze of content they offer – 10 really is top of its class for the Under 50s, reaching 48% of the 25-54 age group, and continuing to have a stronger hold across the 16-39 and 18-49 groups than any of their competitors.

They’ve evolved and ramped up their exclusive fan-heavy shows such as Survivor, I’m a Celebrity, The Masked Singer and The Amazing Race, plus they introduced several pop-up channels offering even more live sport content including football.

All new and returning shows:
It was great to see a strong focus on ‘Australian Originals.’ Original Australian content being showcased on Paramount+ included Five Bedrooms, the new series This is Lauren, and new to Australia, Couples Therapy. In addition, there was The Last King of the X and the uniquely Aussie coming of age drama 6 Festivals. This was complimented by global additions such as The First Lady (think American Whitehouse meets The Crown) and the return of Dexter.  Also, Q1 will see the world’s most successful video game Halo coming to life! Some really great looking formats – a little bit of a shame they’re launching on Paramount+ and not for the wider linear audience, but I can’t wait to see how they deliver.

Well established favourites with some newcomers:
Linear focus is still very much event reality-based with all the top rating formats such as Survivor, Masterchef, The Project, Have you been Paying Attention, The Masked Singer, Gogglebox, The Living Room and of course The Bachelor and Bachelorette returning. The franchise schedule kicks off on January 3 with I’m a celeb (now in its 8th season), followed by Survivor season 7, Masterchef - Foodies vs Favourites (3rd season) and The Project, now in its 14th year!

Personally, I’m looking forward to a brand new series coming in Q3: Hunted. It’s a cat & mouse game where 14 ordinary people must go on the run and remain undetected for 28 days - could this be the new Survivor for 2022?
I am also (secretly) pleased that First Dates is now heading to Ten following its stint on Seven. I can’t wait to see more of the awkward moments and weird pairings – I’ll be as hooked as I was when watching in the UK!

A consistently strong Sporting line up:
In addition to the A-Leagues, Matildas and Socceroos matches, and FFA Cup games, 10 announced another fantastic acquisition to their football properties; securing the rights to the FA Cup. A great addition to their sporting staples that also includes the Australian Grand Prix, the NBL and the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

10 ViacomCBS really are unleashing their power of content across all platforms in 2022 – offering synergy and scale across linear, pay, digital, BVOD and SVOD. They’ve set out their clear ambition for growth across all of their platforms – positioning themselves as a power player in streaming whilst continuing to scale in TV. Their content partnerships, sophisticated data capabilities, new e-commerce opportunities all supported by recognisable global brands, means they can offer a really strong combination of reach and scale, ultimately making them a very powerful partner. I’m looking forward to seeing them leverage all of this even more throughout 2022

Did you miss any of the Upfront season? Well fear not! Watch this space for our wrap up and key take outs on what it all means for TV next year and beyond. In addition, if you’d like to discuss how AFFINITY can help deliver amazing outcomes through Media, please get in touch!

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