How ViacomCBS Gets TV Viewers What They Want


On any given day, millions of Americans will sit down to watch TV. But what shows do people put on? And how do they decide where to watch them? Those are some of the questions driving the Global Insights team at ViacomCBS. The team strives to connect audiences with the content they love, and leverages data and research to do so.

“Research is really important to helping ViacomCBS keep up with changes in the landscape and how consumers are thinking about them,” says Colleen Fahey Rush, EVP and Chief Research Officer at ViacomCBS.

Earlier this year, we visited the ViacomCBS headquarters in New York City to learn more about a recent research project, Today’s TV. To put together the Today’s TV report, the Global Insights team gathered data from 10,000 people in 10 different countries including the U.S. Their research showed that while individual viewing habits vary widely, TV is still a source of common ground and a way we escape.

ViacomCBS is using these insights to keep viewers and their habits at the center of programming strategy. “What we’re trying to do at ViacomCBS is figure out, on every platform, how to make it really easy for people to enjoy the content they want,” explained Rush.

While many in the industry consider consumption via streaming and linear TV as two different mediums for viewing content, audiences don’t see it the same way. 

According to Today’s TV, 74% of respondents believe that as long as they can access content, the device and service doesn’t matter, with 62% saying they consider “TV” to be the shows and movies they watch. While streaming and linear TV have very different viewing experiences, the content informs why a viewer picks a program, not the device or service.

So no matter if you’re taking your buddies on a deep dive of your favorite fictional universe, or you just need to sit on the couch and veg out, ViacomCBS’s research efforts are making it easier to get the content you love no matter how you watch TV.