CBS Learns The Lesson Quickly: Don't Build Your Own Destination; Syndicate Your Video Content

from the go-forth-and-multiply dept

Whenever we talk about the ridiculousness of big media companies demanding all their content be stripped from YouTube, people show up in the comments saying that they need to do this in order to build their own destination site for video. That doesn’t make sense. In a world where attention may be the scarcest resource of them all, you should want your content spread as widely as possible. It appears that CBS is the first of the major networks to get this. While the company had tried to build its own video destination site for its content, it’s now admitting that it should have been called CBS is learning that people don’t want to have to hunt down your silo for content and deal with your redesign and usability issues. They want the content wherever its easiest to get it — and CBS has decided to comply. Rather than focusing on building out its own destination site, the network is going to push to get its content syndicated everywhere possible. This really isn’t that surprising, given that CBS was one of the few networks to recognize that YouTube actually increased viewership of its TV shows. However, it is a bit amusing to think that CBS was just recently split off from Viacom, who has gone in the exact opposite direction.

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Comments on “CBS Learns The Lesson Quickly: Don't Build Your Own Destination; Syndicate Your Video Content”

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JasonFason says:

Re: CBS (maybe someone finally gets it)

Agree. I actually watch more CBS shows now because I got caught up using evil-Comcast’s On-Demand feature. But whatever TV sux these days and with the looming writers strike it’s going to get worse (more reality TV and unscripted shows). I’m starting a garden and going to bed earlier, screw entertainment mediums and their ad dollars

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) says:


Of course, if you want greater control of your advertising (networks source of revenue) you would want everyone to go to one site to see your ads. If other sites are using your content to draw visitors for their ads, you sure as hell would want a cut of the ad revenue. Remember, it all comes down to money. Why should anyone else make money off your content? CBS will make a deal with YouTube to get a cut of the ad revenue and then they will get more exposure. That makes sense! But without an agreement, you’re losing ad dollars because companies won’t take ads with you or they will pay a lot less for the ad. I am no economist or ad specialist but that makes sense to me.

Thinkerati says:

Nobody went because it was so poorly designed...

Sure, I agree with everybody that it would be smart for all of the networks to make their content available via sources who specialize in getting it out and making it available to anyone.

However, part of the reason why CBS is making this move and the other networks haven’t yet, is because their Innertube design is so crappy. Trying to watch shows on their site is often a frustrating, unsatisfying event. The feed sometimes would break off, or it would loop the same section of material again and again instead of going to the next part (forcing me to watch the same annoying commercial multiple times until I could get it to advance), or it would skip whole sections altogether. And the quality of the picture was extremely poor. Also, if you were halfway through a show and needed to leave and come back later, you couldn’t come back and click on the part you wanted to go straight to, you had to watch the entire thing again to get to the part you wanted. Although there were a few things I liked about it (they were one of the first networks to let you pick which episode you wanted and went back further in episode availability), overall it was just plain poorly designed and built, and a big pain, so no wonder nobody went there…

Sanguine Dream says:


if only Viacom would wake up and smell the coffee. I like the Comedy Central show “Halfway Home” but when I try to go to to look at extra stuff and clips from episodes (I really like the one with Dane Cook) the site is ungodly slow. And instead of toughing it out and fishing for the clips (the site must have been done by a 13yr. girl whose resume was her myspace page) I just gave up. So if they would pull their heads out of their @ssess I would go looking for the extra stuff but since they insist on locking it down on such a horribly designed site I suppose I’ll go without it.

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