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CBS All Access Amazon Prime channel adds limited ad tier, well in time for Jean-Luc Picard’s Star Trek return

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Aug 20, 2018

Only days after Star Trek and CBS teamed up to announce the return of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, undoubtedly the biggest score yet in the CBS All Access streaming service’s aspirational plans, the network has just revealed it’s adding a limited commercial tier for subscribers. CBS joins streaming competitors like HBO and Starz in making All Access available via subscription through Amazon Prime. 

Deadline reports CBS made All Access' limited commercial service available through Amazon’s popular “channels” menu option effective Aug. 20. All Access has been avilable through Prime since earlier this year. The move puts the platform’s existing genre content like Star Trek: Discovery within an easy Amazon click for genre viewers already hooked on the streaming convenience of tapping shows like HBO’s Westworld and Game of Thrones, or Starz’s American Gods

After a one-week free trial, subscriptions reportedly will start at $5.99 per month for a basic (read: advertising included) subscription, jumping to $9.99 per month for a “reduced-ad” programming tier.  You must already be signed up for one of Amazon’s Prime Video packages through the company’s umbrella annual Prime subscriptions to access the option to sign up for CBS All Access via Amazon.

CBS CEO Les Moonves already has indicated that finding a home for its premium content on Amazon reflects the network’s faith in Amazon’s expanded viewer reach. After watching the success of its Showtime channel on the same platform, Moonves described the post-Amazon difference earlier this month as “absolutely amazing in terms of growing” new Showtime subscriptions. 

“Amazon has also been singled out for praise by HBO and Starz, which say Prime Video Channels’ high visibility and powerful promotional engine have boosted their results,” Deadline emphasized.

Putting CBS All Access in front of millions of potentially new eyeballs comes well ahead of bigger plans the network has for its paid-content offerings, not the least of which is the fresh revelation that Stewart will be reprising his iconic role as Captain Picard, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, for an untitled, in-development original series. It's an announcement that still has Star Trek die-hards giddily reeling from the news. 

Add to that the platform’s plans for an increasing slate of genre content —  including Jordan Peele’s series reboot of The Twilight Zone, a fresh adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, and the much farther-along Tell Me a Story dark fairy tale series — and it starts looking as though CBS is following in the footsteps of HBO, Netflix, Disney, and DC Entertainment by going all in on the streaming allure of fantasy and sci-fi. 

Now that the platform's full tier is available via Amazon, Prime subscribers can snag CBS All Access on any device that already plays their regular Prime Video content, including mobile platforms for both iOS and Android, as well as via laptops, smart TVs, Amazon’s Fire TV, and Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gaming consoles.