The Star Trek TV series, Star Trek: Discovery, has led to CBS setting a single-day signups record for its streaming service, CBS All-Access. While the entire run of the series will be made available through the All-Access service, the first episode of Discovery aired Sunday night on the CBS television network. Throughout the premiere's commercial breaks, there were multiple promos for Discovery that implored viewers to sign up for CBS' streaming service, in order to watch more of the show.
Discovery, despite delays and reports of turmoil behind the scenes, appears to have been well-received. The ratings aren’t in yet, but critics have been kind to the show (read Screen Rant's Discovery premiere review), and social media chatter about the premiere was mostly positive too. Sure, there was that decades-old CBS scourge of Sunday night programming getting delayed because of football, but Star Trek: Discovery appears by all indications to have had a successful launch - in more than one way.
The premiere, according to Deadline, led to a single-day record in signups for the CBS All-Access streaming service. CBS did not release numbers, but stated that the record, buoyed by ads during the day’s football games as well as the Star Trek episode itself, had broken the previous number, set during the CBS-broadcast Grammy Awards in February.
In addition to single-day records, CBS All-Access also broke records for weekly and monthly signups. CBS made both the first and second episodes of Star Trek: Discovery available on All-Access on Sunday night, as well as the After Trek aftershow. New episodes of Discovery will begin streaming each Sunday night for the next several weeks, before the show takes a break and resumes in early 2018.
The first reaction to the news is that it probably would have been a huge disappointment had CBS All-Access not broken its signup record on Sunday night. It was a risky, first-of-its-kind experiment in which a company teased an episode for free and attempted to sell streaming service subscriptions on the strength of that one episode. The record seems to show that Trek fans, as well as mere dabblers, liked what they saw from the Discovery premiere and were ready to pay for more.
Then again, without a look at the raw numbers, we have no idea whether the day was a successful one for CBS All-Access. It’s possible that they could have broken the single-day record but still sold a disappointingly small number of subscriptions. Going up against Netflix, Amazon and Hulu is a huge risk and it may very well succeed, but CBS All Access still must prove itself.
Star Trek: Discovery continues next Sunday with ‘Context is for Kings’ on CBS All Access.