CBS research chief: Significant changes in TV viewing in past two years

Video on demand has grown almost 60% this season for CBS shows, the network’s head of research said, part of a dramatic change in how viewers – especially younger ones — are consuming entertainment content.

David Poltrack, chief research officer for CBS, Monday told the annual UBS Global and Media Communications Conference in New York that the network also is seeing a 40% overall increase of online viewing of its programming.

“Changes that have occurred in TV viewing in last two years are more significant than changes that have occurred in the past 20 years,” said Poltrack.

Poltrack said that during the first month of this season viewers have stream episodes of both “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Bang Theory” more than one million times.

As to VOD, Poltrack said it’s “increasing the average audience for our prime time programming by 4%,” and said VOD is being used to watch television and catch up on favorite shows. Some shows, he said, have recorded more than double the 4% overall bump the network has experienced, like the 9% increase experienced by “The Good Wife.”

While there’s been a lot of hubbub about television and pay-TV having a tough time attracting – and keeping – younger audiences, Poltrack said online video streaming has been a significant help in reaching that market, noting that CBS’s online audience is 16 years younger than its standard viewer.

The company — once leery of over-the-top options – recently has embraced them. This summer, CBS made episodes of its “Under the Dome” hit series available to Amazon Prime users shortly after they aired. Efforts like those are giving “”the elusive younger audience access to the network’s programming.”

See this L.A. Times story for more.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn