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Q&A: CBSN celebrates a year of delivering breaking news on mobile

This month marks the one-year anniversary of CBS? launch of streaming news network CBSN, with mobile proving to be a draw and delivering an average viewing time of 24 minutes. 

Last year, network CBS launched the digital-oriented news service, which lives online and through mobile applications, allowing users to receive live, anchorage news coverage 24/7. Its ratings have proved the innovation to be successful for the network, with it drawing in more than 2 million unique viewers.

Viewers on mobile are more focused on the viewing process, and with most users effectively engaged rather than having it on in the background due to the device?s size and operation. Breaking news and snippets from debates and political coverage are becoming a main source of mobile content for users. 

CBSN is available on mobile devices through its app for Android and iOS as well as connected TVs and desktop viewing on its Web site. The service also offered special streams for the recent Democratic debate, incorporating trends and reactions on Twitter. 

Christy Tanner, senior vice president and general manager at CBS News Digital, spoke with Mobile Marketer about how important mobile is to the service?s success and future.

What results has CBS seen from the mobile perspective for CBSN in its first year? 
We are seeing viewers dive into CBSN coverage on mobile particularly for breaking news. Viewing on mobile is less of a lean-back experience than on connected TV devices, so fewer overall minutes are consumed on mobile.

Social and SEO are big drivers for mobile viewing.

CBSN's Twitter feed promotes its videos

What did CBS learn from these results? 
Mobile users want quick-hitting videos, so we are specifically creating shorter versions of CBSN segments to be shared on social and viewed on mobile devices.

What future plans are in the works for CBSN in mobile? 
We will do more short-form videos designed to be consumed on mobile and optimized for social, and continue to enhance CBSN's mobile functionality and user experience.

What role do you think mobile will play in the future for video? 

Which of your mobile strategies have produced the best results? Which have resonated most with your customers?
Creating shorter versions of CBSN segments specifically for mobile platforms, where users spend less overall time watching video than on other digital platforms like connected TVs. 

Results in January showed that CBSN drove omnichannel engagement saw 26 percent of viewers consuming content from mobile devices (see more). 

CBS also released a direct-to-consumer streaming service, which pointed to how mobile is accelerating over-the-top access and opening up the potential for a new brand experience for the network (see more). 

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer