CBS, into the Game with Both Feet

The big networks are finally getting serious about the net, and re-thinking their roles in the content creation/consumption/commercialization mix. First NBC, now CBS:  CBS Corporation Announces the Creation of the CBS Interactive Audience Network.

"CBS’s ability to partner with leading next-generation interactive
platforms is the best way for CBS to evolve from a content company to an
audience company
,(emphasis mine -ed.)" said Quincy Smith, President, CBS Interactive.  "It’s
really all about the user and in building the CBS Interactive Audience
Network, we are bringing our content to each unique platform of their choice.
In remaining open to all online distributors and community builders – big and
small – we can learn more about our existing audience, be exposed to new ones,
and flexibly cater to their changing consumption habits."

An "audience company"? First of all, what does that mean. Second, is that really the business for CBS? That puts CBS in the middle, trying to match the advertiser to the consumer, with content as the middle ground. Presumably, CBS would be media agnostic – once the new network is up and running – recognizing the inevitability of a multi channel future for them. They’ve got radio, tv, online publications/sites and now an online distribution play. But, they are letting their content loose in the wild, and tracking which audience sees the content is going to be harder than ever.

There’s a lot more the consider here, so i’ll need to give it a few days. In the meantime, i’ll re-read this deck from Spencer Wang. A mind opener.

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