Note: In March 2021, CBS Interactive was rebranded to Paramount+ following the re-merger of CBS and Viacom.
CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation, is the world’s largest publisher of premium digital content. CBS Interactive’s brands span popular categories such as technology, entertainment, sports, news and gaming. CBS Interactive’s properties include the websites, apps and streaming services of the CBS Television Network such as the CBS All Access subscription service, the 24/7 digital news network CBSN, and CBS Sports Digital brands including the 24-hour streaming sports news network CBS Sports HQ, as well as digital-first properties in key content verticals, including CNET, TVGuide.com, GameSpot, Last.fm, Metacritic and Chowhound.
CBS Interactive wanted to offer a simple and consistent payment experience to subscribers across multiple different properties within the CBS Interactive portfolio. To do so they needed to aggregate the subscription billing services across the various sites onto one subscription commerce platform. According to Stephen Comstock, CIO of CBS Interactive, the key requirement in choosing a subscription commerce platform was the ease and speed with which the platform could be implemented. And once implemented, they needed a solution that was intuitive and easy to use. “When we evaluated the subscription market, there were many factors that we considered. Those items included ease of implementation, application flexibility, ease of use, subscription reporting performance and dunning capabilities,” Comstock said. “We felt that Recurly provided the features we needed."
Recurly had a methodical and iterative approach to the customer onboarding process. The two teams continually refined and improved the process as each CBS Interactive property was migrated onto the Recurly platform.
When planning for major events and launches, it's critical that our key partners understand and prepare for large volumes and spikes in traffic so their systems are secure and stable.
Having one unified platform and one implementation was also critical in terms of security risks and PCI compliance. With a single subscription platform, one workflow would be applied across all the properties to ensure a consistent and manageable PCI and risk management process.
Comstock noted another important reason for having one subscription commerce platform for the different departments and teams at CBS Interactive: “By unifying on a single subscription platform, we were able to become more efficient by creating a community of subject matter experts within the division. This had an impact in two key areas. It created an environment of knowledge sharing which allowed individuals within the organization to help each other. It also helped optimize our conversations with our Recurly customer success contact to ensure that we were getting the new features and roadmap items that would significantly impact our business.”
Together we can provide the best subscriber experience possible. Recurly understands that preparation is key and has delivered successfully.
Indeed, the synergistic relationship that CBS Interactive has with Recurly’s customer success team is a key element of the partnership. Says Comstock, “Recurly’s customer success team was very responsive. They understood our goals and our key measurements of success.”
Major original content launches and large tentpole events are a key element of CBS Interactive’s business. These events provide brand awareness and the opportunity to introduce consumers to the CBS Interactive subscription offerings. Delivering the best customer experience requires a user subscription workflow that is quick, easy, and problem-free before, during and after the event. To ensure these events occur without incident, the Recurly team closely tracks load and overall performance to ensure that everything is running smoothly, with dedicated specialists on-call. Tracking these metrics not only shows the health of the CBS Interactive/Recurly integration, but also provides CBS Interactive with live updates on how well the event is attracting new subscribers. As Comstock describes, “When planning for major events and launches, it’s critical that our key partners understand and prepare for large volumes and spikes in traffic so their systems are secure and stable. With this shared goal, together we can provide the best subscriber experience possible. Recurly understands that preparation is key and has delivered successfully.”
By unifying on a single subscription platform, we were able to become more efficient by creating a community of subject matter experts within the division.