CBS Recognizes That You Must (And You Can) Compete With Free
from the recognizing-the-inevitable dept
Earlier this week we were surprised, but happy, to see folks at CBS apparently realizing that putting videos online for free helped them by getting more viewers interested in their TV shows, increasing the viewership that can be sold to advertisers. This was quite an about face from just a year ago when CBS apparently believed that the future was in selling videos online. However, it appears to go even further than just recognizing the basic value in putting videos online. CBS execs seem to finally be coming to terms with the lack of scarcity in digital economics and the fact that you compete with “free” because you have to. A senior exec at CBS was quoted this week about how the company was beginning to figure out how this works: “If they’re going to steal it, give it to them anyway, but also make it easier to access and present it better than YouTube or BitTorrent or anywhere else.” That means recognizing who you’re really competing with, while also recognizing that you can add additional value. The same executive, David Poltrack, also noted that there’s “economic value” in serving what “the public really wants.” These may not sound like revolutionary concepts, but it’s been quite some time since we’ve heard anything like that from a major media executive.