CBS rolls out full-episode streaming app to drive viewership
By Rimma Kats
March 19, 2013
CBS has debuted a new iPhone and iPad application that streams episodes of its primetime, daytime and late-night programming.
The new app extends the reach of the shows’ audience, providing more flexibility and opportunity for catch-up viewing and opens another monetization window for the company. Over the past few years, CBS has invested a lot of time and money in mobile to drive engagement.
“We’re extending our CBS.com platforms to now include devices for secure delivery of full episodes,” said Marc DeBevoise, executive vice president and general manager of entertainment, news and sports at CBS Interactive, San Francisco.
“Our feeling is that many of these devices have reached ubiquity in the marketplace, Apple's iPhone and iPad are two examples, and consumer adoption has reached a point where we know people want to use these devices to catch up on our content,” he said.
“That combined with the fact that we now have ways to fully monetize these platforms in a way that augments our other content windows and maximizes our business makes this the right time."
Users can download the CBS app for free at Apple’s App Store.
The app lets consumers browse episodes of shows such as NCIS, The Good Wife, CSI, How I Met Your Mother, The Young & The Restless and The Late Show with David Letterman.
Daytime and late night programming will be available within 24 hours after initial airing, while most primetime programs will be available on the eighth day after broadcast.
Additionally, CBS will introduce similar full-episode streaming apps for all major mobile and tablet platforms later this year, including Android and Windows 8.
“We are still early on in the evolution of second-screen experiences, but we have already learned that these mobile solutions can offer show creators and producers a valuable, new way to enhance the stories they are creating, and, in turn, deliver the audience with a deeper, more engaging experience,” Mr. DeBevoise said.
“We've learned a lot through the launch of our CBS Connect second-screen application – which offers synced experiences for a number of shows as well as social feeds across our daytime, late night and primetime programming – and the new CBS app will integrate that app's experience by the start of the Fall TV season."
According to CBS, the new app will integrate the existing CBS Connect app experience by the start of the Fall TV season.
At that time, the CBS app will offer integrated social feeds, live events that allow fans to engage directly with talent and second-screen experiences synched to the broadcast with additional content for select shows such as CSI, Criminal Minds, Hawaii Five-O and NCIS Los Angeles.
Buick is the official launch partner for the new App and will bring users CBS programming with reduced commercial interruption for the first several weeks after launch.
“We have taken our time to evaluate and build for the right platforms and, with the new app, we're taking into account the evolving habits of our audience and extending the viewing window from live plus seven days to eight and beyond,” Mr. DeBevoise said.
“Our approach has really been in the best interests of protecting the valuable content we produce and distribute, while also making sure we create optimum experiences for our brand advertisers and viewers,” he said. “We’ve been very deliberate in how we make our content available on a variety of platforms.”
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
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