The new news

A snapshot of the CBSN live feed
A snapshot of the CBSN live feed

Just weeks after announcing a subscription streaming app for local programming, CBS on Thursday launched an ad-supported streaming news feed that could lure viewers away from traditional cable news networks.

The service, called CBSN, is available online and via set-top devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Viewers will see a live feed and have the ability to view to go back and view previously-streamed videos.

When I checked it out this morning, I saw a mix of live “new” news and some stories that I’d already read online yesterday, such as this CBS This Morning piece on Las Vegas targeting millennial customers. That just shows that programming content for a streaming channel is no more challenging than it is for broadcast and cable. The difference is you’re not bound by the same time restrictions when you’re dealing with online content, so you get to expand stories if you want to.

This is a smart move for CBS, it’s going where the viewers are and will be in the future. It’s major competitors have surely taken notice, and I think even the local affiliates should be having conversations right now about expanding their programming lineup via streaming channels.

Does that mean more streaming newscasts when they’re not on-the-air? CBSN offers 15 hours of live, anchored programming. What can local affiliates deliver?

Should it be more news, or another type of programming? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

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