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CBS All Access – Is it Worth It?

the good wife

With the constant rising popularity of online streaming, it’s no surprise that CBS is one of the first TV networks to jump on the bandwagon. But with services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime already out there, is it really worth the $6 a month they’re asking? Well, in short…no! Or at least not yet!

The Positives

Now, let me just say that All Access isn’t a bad idea in and of itself. I think if done right, it could become a worthwhile venture. It at least shows that CBS is forward thinking. But the model just isn’t there yet. However, there are positives to the service.

  1. Current Shows – Most of the current shows are included in All Access with new episodes available the day after they air. While the CBS website includes the shows online for everyone to watch as well, you do have to wait an extra week to watch them on mobile devices. With the service, you can watch the latest episode of your favorite show the morning after on your mobile device.
  2. Past Episodes (from previous seasons) – A couple seasons behind on The Good Wife or NCIS? Well then you can watch past seasons and catch up!
  3. Live TV – If you’re one of the lucky people living in one of the selected larger cities, then you don’t need cable to watch your favorite CBS shows the night they premiere. In fact, you can stream them live as they air.
  4. Classic Shows – There is a vault of past CBS shows to watch from beginning to end.

The Negatives

  1. Past Seasons – While I mentioned the positives of having some past seasons to watch, in total there really aren’t all that many shows included in the service that have actual past seasons. You can’t watch past seasons of Elementary or Hawaii Five-0 for instance. This was a real negative for me as it would be the only reason for me to have the service right now.
  2. Live TV – Honestly, most people around the country won’t be able to use this service yet as most cities aren’t included. Also, you can’t press pause like you can on your Tivo, Netflix or Hulu.
  3. The Selection – If you have Netflix, Hulu or Amazon then there isn’t a whole lot new here to watch. Many of the shows they include (beyond their current seasons) are already spread across these services. So there really isn’t a huge selection of shows with exclusive access.
  4. Advertising – While a little less than just watching the shows on the CBS website, there is still WAY too much advertising. You even get a commercial while scrolling for shows to watch. I get that they need the advertisers, but to me it all felt a bit like overkill.

When CBS All Access Will Be Worth It

Besides cutting down the abundance of advertising a smidge, adding more past seasons to all the shows they own the rights for, adding most cities across the country for Live TV and adding to their classics collection, CBS All Access needs one important thing:

Original Content!


Just like Netflix and Amazon have original TV Series exclusive to their streaming service, so should CBS. This would also be a great place to continue canceled series that still have a larger cult following. Another way CBS All Access could bring in original content (or must see entertainment people will easily chalk up $6 for) is TV Movies or Miniseries made as ways to give proper conclusions to canceled shows. Just imagine all these years after the Moonlight cancellation, they bring back the cast and writers for one last adventure (if you want to see one idea of how they could bring back the show briefly with aging actors playing vampires, read this). I know I’d pay $6. Heck, I’d probably pay $20. Yes, I do know the Moonlight one is wishful thinking on my part…

Summing Up

While there are positives and negatives to the CBS All Access streaming service, right now what’s included just isn’t worth the monthly fee. But if in the future they are able to create a better service with more to offer, then perhaps it could become a service worth paying for. Till then, I’d say stick with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

Photos: CBS


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By on January 25th, 2015

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a writer and digital publisher full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

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1 thought on “CBS All Access – Is it Worth It?”

  1. I have the free cbs app. based on it I will NEVER get the all access. I have 6 different streaming services, all work flawlessly.
    But not CBS. every single program during any time of day, will buffer out at least 10 times per 1/2 hr. and many times I get a black and white text screen saying my bandwidth is to low or slow.
    That’s funny NEVER happens with any other service ( netflix, hulu, youtube, abc, RT). I gave 10mbs download wirelss broadband and only one computer ans 15 miles out in country, nearest neighbor 1/4 mile so not being pirated.
    With all access You pay your money and still have commercials and HAVE TO WAIT 24 HR AFTER THEY AIRED? Hell just as well have an antenna and watch it the same day FOR FREE!!!!
    you need to revisit this article and list the crappy service people are getting and tell them do NOT subscribe and do NOT buy the advertised products, until CBS stops being so greedy that it uses blackmail of throttled speeds.
    And guess what I wrote them several time, no response they don’t care!


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