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ViacomCBS Offers Free Streaming Service During Pandemic

By Rich Duprey - Mar 30, 2020 at 9:57AM

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The offer comes as millions of consumers are stuck at home under a lockdown.

Patrick Stewart, who plays Captain Picard on Star Trek: Picard, announced on Twitter last week that ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC), which hosts the TV program on its CBS All Access streaming video service, was giving consumers free access to the service for a month.

As more people practice social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, they have available to them more streaming video choices than ever before. It is giving streaming services such as All Access an unprecedented opportunity to introduce their programming to a largely captive audience that may subscribe beyond the free trial or after the pandemic passes.

Woman standing in front of numerous video screens

Image source: Getty Images.

Video everywhere

The number of streaming services has exploded in recent years, but analysts estimate consumers will only pay for and maintain a small handful of them. Because of this, many question how long some streaming platforms can survive.

Disney's new Disney+ has proven to be a huge success that has attracted tens of millions of viewers, many through a one-year free trial with services like Verizon that want to tap that well of opportunity themselves. A free trial during a time when people are only supposed to leave the home for essential trips could be the vehicle that introduces consumers to a service they will keep.

ViacomCBS intends to scale up All Access by adding to the service 30,000 TV episodes from Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and the Smithsonian Channel as well as 1,000 movies from Paramount Pictures.

To take advantage of the month-long free trial, which ends April 23, viewers need to enter the promo code "GIFT."

Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Twitter and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Verizon Communications and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short April 2020 $135 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

The Walt Disney Company Stock Quote
The Walt Disney Company
DIS
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Verizon Communications Inc. Stock Quote
Verizon Communications Inc.
VZ
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Twitter, Inc. Stock Quote
Twitter, Inc.
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