There is a lot of buzz for Pluto TV as well as Paramount+. But for some reason, I see very little mentioned about an app from Paramount that cord-cutters would love if they tried out. There is a CBS app that will let users keep up with their current favorite shows for free. The app launched alongside Paramount+ when the rebrand effectively closed down what had up until then been known as CBS All Access. During the CBS All Access era there was no official CBS app that could be accessed outside of subscribers to All Access. But the newer CBS app works totally differently.
The app is more along the lines of a typical TV Everywhere app, in that it is heavy on features for users who have a pay-TV service such as a traditional cable provider or even one of the many streaming services that do the same kind of thing. Apps like this have free shows and options that require users to sign in with a provider in order to access them. But the thing is that they still give users a lot of cool options.
All of CBS’s current shows are available for streaming on the CBS app. But this is where things can get a little confusing. What is available depends a bit on the series you are viewing. Most of the current CBS shows only offer a couple of free episodes at a time. Often it will be say the last 4-5 episodes of a series. But sometimes the episodes available will be say a few weeks behind the current TV run. You will have to take a closer look when browsing.
Live TV Only For Pay Customers
Because the app is set up for both free users, and pay-TV users there are options for live TV viewing. This is not a free live CBS feed. It will ask for your pay-TV credentials. There are though a few internet-based services including CBS News and CBS Sports HQ available to view with live streaming information.
Good News and Bad News
The good news about the CBS app is that users can watch in-season shows from start to finish. The bad news is that you can not binge them all at once. You have to almost treat it as a limited DVR. the available shows will change weekly as the season moves along. Users will find that past episodes of a series (that are not in the free to view window) will be listed with subscribe next to them. This is a prompt to sign up for Paramount+. Other episodes such as the newest episodes of a season can be listed with a padlock. Those episodes are only available at the time for users who sign in with a TV provider as mentioned earlier. So the window to view free episodes is not wide or unlimited, but it exists.
The app breaks down content into helpful bunches. Along with genre-based listings and A-Z the app has categories like Prime Time, Day Time, and Late Night. This allows users to jump into the kind of shows they are looking for. There are soap operas and game shows in Day Time, Late Night talk shows in late night, and so on.
The CBS app is not perfectly easy to understand at first glance. But if you are a cord-cutter looking to save money by not adding too many subscription services as replacements, understanding the app will allow you to enjoy some wonderful shows and save money at the same time.