by Mike Masnick

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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  1. identicon
    Jezsik, 14 May 2007 @ 11:29am

    Just imagine ...

    Isn't trying to keep content off a common site like youtube so they can build their own delivery site very much like trying to develop their own TV set in order to deliver their controlled content? Sounds kinda dumb, doesn't it?

    Mind you, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Sony attempted this route! :-D

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Rick, 14 May 2007 @ 11:38am

    Sony did. It's called Blu-Ray.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Monarch, 14 May 2007 @ 12:23pm

    No it's like trying to build and own every transmit tower in the world, instead of syndicating with local television stations to show the network content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    squik, 14 May 2007 @ 12:34pm

    all these analogies are lame

    CBS is merely carrying its broadcast strategy into the online space. They tried having their own portal and it didn't work for them. Now they are syndicating their content and will be inserting ads into the syndicated content. Don't expect CBS to stop issuing take down orders.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Anonymous Poster (profile), 14 May 2007 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Blu-Ray

    Hey, that's not fair. Don't kick somebody when they're down, yo.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Old Guy, 14 May 2007 @ 12:49pm

    CBS (maybe someone finally gets it)

    My broadband company (the evil Comcast) carries network programming on an on-demand basis. Guess which is the ONLY network who's shows are available on-demand.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), 14 May 2007 @ 1:05pm


    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Chris, 14 May 2007 @ 1:25pm


    I love my Blu-ray player (PS3) and the TV (Sony) that plays on it, and the surround sound (Sony) that enables me to hear it. Never had a problem with anything I bought from Sony :D

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    JasonFason, 14 May 2007 @ 1:35pm

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Sohrab, 14 May 2007 @ 2:06pm


    what does that even mean?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    K-Sea, 14 May 2007 @ 3:10pm

    Who's got the bandwidth and $$$

    I'm thinking CBS got their monthly statement from their ISP and noticed an exceptions increase in the fees associated with feeding your own content, that along with the additional server/network costs going into the project said F$#@ it... If you can't beat them, join them!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Thinkerati, 14 May 2007 @ 3:38pm

    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...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Todd, 15 May 2007 @ 1:03am

    I'm the stupid fcuking grammar douche

    @ #9

    By "entertainment mediums" do you mean like The Ghost Whisperer or something?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 15 May 2007 @ 6:05am


    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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