CBS News Introduces Digital Streaming Service

CBSN Is a Free, Ad-Supported Service

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CBS News is the latest TV programmer to join the over-the-top arena.

After months of discussion, the 24-hour, digital-only service, dubbed CBSN, goes live on Thursday, the company announced. The service will be free and gives users access to a live, anchored news feed that runs in 60-minute blocks. Viewers can scroll back through an hour of content to watch segments on demand. There will be 15 hours of live content, with segments being updated throughout the day. Content will rerun overnight and on weekends.

The service allows CBS News to play in the 24-hour news arena without going the route of a cable TV network.

Initially CBSN will be available on connected devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV, as well as on the web and mobile devices. The service will be on other connected TV platforms over the next several days.

CBSN is ad supported, with a commercial of about 10 to 12 spots per hour, similar to linear TV. Microsoft will be an initial sponsor.

The service is designed to target core CBS News viewers, as well as new viewers who are technology savvy and slightly younger.

News organizations have been looking to reinvent how news is consumed in an increasingly digital world. Reuters will introduce a subscription-based digital service next year that allows users to receive personalized video content created solely for the platform. CNN's CNNGo, introduced earlier this year as CNNx, allows pay-TV subscribers to control how they view the networks feed by letting them select segments from the past 24 hours and access expanded content in real time.

ABC News also has a 24-hour digital news channel that includes some live video, segements from ABC News TV and original segments created for the platform.

There's also been a move by programmers to go direct-to-consumer, by passing the pay-TV bundle. CBS announced its own digital service, "CBS All Access," last month, and days earlier HBO revealed plans for a digital platform to bow in 2015.

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