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Published on April 11th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


Most CBSN viewers watching on Apple TV, connected devices; not mobile

With so much talk of more and more people watching TV on mobile devices, the CBS streaming news network CBSN is bucking the trend with 50 percent of viewers watching on TV-connected devices like Apple TV, according to an executive with CBS News Digital.

Speaking Tuesday at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, Christy Tanner, executive vice president and general manager at CBS News Digital, said the majority of its viewers are watching via devices like Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire Stick, 30 percent from desktops PCs and 20 percent on mobile devices.

Tanner said a small amount of viewing is coming through ad-based streaming services like Pluto TV and Xumo with the former available as an Apple TV app. She revealed the primary demographic watching the service is averaging 38 years of age.

Being that the service is free requiring no subscription as does traditional news channels like CNN or MSNBC, Tanner commented that many viewers are coming from the cord-cutting community.

“We’re taking advantage of cord-cutting users and we’re getting strong traction in that space,” she said.

Moving forward, Tanner said the possibilities for CBSN being part of streaming services like DirecTV Now, Sling TV, and Hulu is not out of the question. 

“We’re talking to everybody including local affiliates who might want it as part of a sub-HD channel,” she told

Tanner said she believed voice-based devices like Siri and Amazon Alexa will play a much bigger role in how people get their news.

“Connected homes will change the way people consume news,” she said. “They will be searching to discover news headlines.”

The CBSN app has been available on Apple TV since its debut in November of 2014.

Photo: Courtesy

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.

One Response to Most CBSN viewers watching on Apple TV, connected devices; not mobile

  1. Mike says:

    Apple TV originally only had Sky News then CBSN. (and Fox News, but that is not actual news.)
    So if you used CBSN in the past on ATV (like I did and still do on my ATV2, now in kitchen), you kept it even if in later ATVs, you had access to CNN, etc. Since there are few options for cord cutters that just have internet and OTA TV for a US based news service, CBSN fills that void. Now, of course, there are many other options.
    There are other free news options too now via YouTube that are quite good. France 24 is excellent with a well balanced Euro-France view. Sadly, I went to it after the various terrorist shootings in France as it had best coverage.
    I think DW (German) is also on YouTube.
    Maybe by now France 24 and DW have ATV apps now for their 24 hour news broadcasts? They should, if not. I will check tonight…
    I forget where the BBC is in all of this. They messed around for so long with rubbish internet TV manifestations they cooked up and controlled, I just gave up. The British model of licensing TV sets, which pay for the BBC, just does not work for a global internet TV audience. They never could figure it out. There is pricy Acorn TV. But that is not news.

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