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CBS Goes Net As Innertube Fails To Pop

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The aggressive Internet strategy employed by CBS also includes the ability to learn from its missteps, as the network will go beyond its Innertube video service to syndicate content all over the Web.

CBS Goes Net As Innertube Fails To Pop
CBS Goes Net As Innertube Fails To Pop
CBS Goes Net As Innertube Fails To Pop

‘Broadband first’ sounded like a tagline when CBS first started discussing that approach to breaking news. The concept hasn’t quite moved into other CBS properties, but CEO Leslie Moonves and the network’s leadership are demonstrating they recognize when something isn’t working.

The Wall Street Journal discussed a shift in the CBS online strategy, and included a candid line about their Innertube video site: “the Web address for Innertube should be CBS.com/nobodycomeshere.” It’s a remarkably candid statement for a company looking for its piece of the upfront ad market for the fall season, with a reported $9 billion in play.

Since no one’s going to Innertube for CBS video content, CBS will syndicate to the places where people are going. We have already seen one announcement where CBS will partner The NewsRoom on making content available for anyone to place on their websites.

The Journal noted Moonves plans to announce other places where CBS content, and the places where potential advertisers will appear, should be forthcoming. Though confirmations have not been announced yet, places like Facebook, Last.fm, and Slide should be in on the action.

Not being beholden to cable contracts gives CBS the ability to go out and syndicate content on the Internet more freely, the article said. However, this freedom has irked at least one powerful online executive, the report noted:

Joanne Bradford, chief media officer of MSN, says advertisers would be served better by buying online ads directly from Web sites rather than buying Internet packages offered alongside their upfront TV deals with the networks. “I’m a little irritated that the networks have put together a digital package that lets a marketer check a box and isn’t as robust or deep,” she said at a conference last week for advertisers in Seattle.

It’s all about the money. Whoever sells the advertising keeps most of what they can scratch and claw out of that $9 billion being tossed around in upfront money. If CBS can hang on to 90 percent of the ad dollars while doling out the remainder to online partners, as the report suggested, it looks pretty likely other networks will want to investigate this further too.

CBS Goes Net As Innertube Fails To Pop
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