CBSN, the 24/7 streaming news service run by CBS News, is making an impact on the media landscape as more and more people head to the internet to consume news.
David Rhodes, president of CBS News, called CBSN “the future of news” in early March when the company hired anchor Josh Elliott. After a wild year filled with major breaks, it appears Rhodes may have been onto something.
CBSN racked up 227.9 million streams through the first 11 months of 2016, a 207 percent increase over its 74.2 million throughout all of 2015. The digital network also set a viewership record on Election Night, as 11.1 million unique viewers tuned in to watch 19.1 million streams during Donald Trump’s shocking upset of Hillary Clinton.
Back in January, the network launched CBSN Originals, a series of long-form, immersive reports that debuted with a feature from reporter Vladimir Duthiers, who went to the volatile suburbs of Paris and Brussels following the terror attacks in each city.
“We continue to focus on expanding CBSN’s breadth of original reporting with new content formats that best serve our audience. With CBSN Originals, we’ve been able to deliver high quality, in-depth reporting on some of the biggest news stories driving the global conversation this year,” CBS News Digital Senior Executive Producer Nancy Lane told TheWrap.
The long-form originals have been a hit, as CBSN sees its highest engagement on connected-TV devices. Correspondent Elaine Quijano recently examined unexpected Trump voters this year and this week the network took viewers to Haiti for an inside look at the corruption, waste and inefficiency that have sapped the country of the progress donor aid was meant to provide in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.
Between cord cutting and the ability to watch news on mobile devices, the popularity of digital news services will presumably continue to grow in 2017. CBSN has taken notice and launched several new connected-TV products with a greater focus on live video, including a new app exclusively for Apple TV. The network also launched new Amazon Fire TV and Android TV apps, became available on Playstation and was the first free 24/7 digital streaming news service to launch on Xbox 360.
The Webby Awards named CBSN the best News and Information Channel as part of its Online Film & Video category. Apple even named the CBS News app one of its “10 Best Apps of the Year.”