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CBS propels catch-up TV efforts via app rollout

CBS is expanding its mobile initiatives around full-episode streaming that began earlier this year with new Android and Windows 8 mobile applications.

The CBS app was previously rolled out in March for iOS devices and has since been downloaded more than four million times. In a similar video-focused move, Family Feud has rolled out a mobile app that lets consumers watch full-length videos.

?We?re looking for an audience for exposure to view our content ? as we?re seeing these platforms grow, we think [Android and Windows 8] is the place to be,? said Marc DeBevoise, executive vice president and general manager of entertainment, news and sports at CBS Interactive, San Francisco.

?There is a desire for this content on these devices, and that expands beyond the first seven days of airing,? he said. ?The demand is there, and people really do want that content.?

Stream on mobile
The roll out of the new app also marks the first time that primetime content will be available in the app eight days after it broadcasts. Via the app, consumers can watch four to five episodes of currently-running shows.

Daytime and late-night programming can be accessed within 24 hours of air time.

In addition to the primetime shows, the CBS app lets consumers watch series such as Star Trek, Perry Mason and Macgyver.

CBS also recently updated the iPad version of the app to include synched second-screen experiences and social TV features that consumers can use while watching a program. These same features will be rolled out to the Android version of the app later this fall.

Consumers get the same amount of commercials via the app as they do watching programs on-air. However, the advertisements themselves differ across channels.

A BlackBerry 10 version of the app is expected to roll out by the end of this year.

Video control
As another example of how broadcasters are innovating in the mobile space, FremantleMedia North America?s Family Feud is also rolling out a video-focused app.

Family Feud worked with Beachfront Media on the app, and it is available for iPhone and Android devices.

Consumers who download the app can search through the show?s inventory of video content.

Video content is also grouped into categories such as greatest hits, audition videos and most interesting answers. In addition to saving clips, consumers can also share them via social media.

An update to the app that will add commenting and user log-in is planned to roll out in the next month, and an iPad version is also expected to launch.

The app is meant to bring some more value to video content that consumers are already watching on YouTube to help the brand monetize and control content.

?YouTube is a great way to build an audience, but how do you take the audience and frame it where an audience is really engaged and you can monetize?? said Frank Sinton, CEO of Beachfront Media, Burbank, CA.

?It?s a no-brainer to do video ads in the app, but eventually there are a number of ways to monetize,? he said.

?There?s a lot of things to determine, but they felt like the first step was how to get an audience that was built on places like YouTube and get them in an environment where I can control it more.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York