CBS Plans To Grow CBSN, Which Is A Sign Of Things To Come For Radio
August 2, 2016
I am a Cord Cutter. I do not subscribe to cable or satellite dish television. I get all of my television on-demand through services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
In fact, if Comcast showed up at my door offering me free cable, I couldn't take it because I don't have anything to plug it into. Not only do I watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it, but I also watch it on whatever device I want to watch it on. In my case, that means an iPad, my laptop, and a projector in my living room. I don't own a TV.
And yet, I watch lots of television. I'm a notorious binge watcher. I'll easily rip through an entire season of Orange is the New Black or Dr. Who in days. I love television. I just don't own one.
Currently, cord cutters are few and far between, but our ranks or growing. Unfortunately, we still face some obstacles, particularly when it comes to real-time broadcasts. If I were a bigger sports fan, I probably wouldn't have cut the cord. And in an election year, I've frequently had to turn to sites like CordCutterNews.com to figure out how to watch the presidential primary debates.
I don't miss cable news -- in fact, it's nice to be free of the blowhards on either side of the political aisle yelling at each other on a nightly basis. But on the nights of big primaries or political conventions, I have sought out live news. It hasn't always been easy to find.
Invariably, I've turned to one source: CBSN, CBS' free 24/7 live news channel, which is available on my Roku. (None of the other news channels are live, and several of them require you to have a cable subscription.) CBS launched the channel in the Fall of 2014, and it's now available on numerous devices like Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, and others.
Sure, this channel doesn't feature CBS' A team (although Bob Scheiffer and John Dickerson do appear from time to time), but it has met my needs, so I keep returning. And I must not be the only one, because CBS has just announced that after seeing steady growth, they are going to invest even more resources in the channel.
The Impact on Radio
So what does this mean for radio? In short, it means that people like me are increasingly seeking out new ways to consume media. If it's happening in the television space, you can bet that it will soon happen in the radio space. Just as we see cord cutters like me abandoning their TVs to watch programming on tablets and laptops, we're seeing people abandoning their radios to listen on smartphones and connected cars. Like CBS, radio stations need to be experimenting with and investing resources in content above and beyond just what goes through their transmitters.