CBS Aims to Spread Web Content

It’s a very encouraging day as CBS figures out how to be effective on the Internet. The network will spread its content over 400 sites by the fall.

“CBS is al about open, nonexclusive partnerships,” CBS Interactive president Quincy Smith said. “Just CBS.com is not the answer” to reaching viewers, he added, so the network is devoted to going out where the viewers are, not forcing them to CBS.com.

This runs counter to NBC, who is creating a social network on their site. There are already too many social networks as it is, why do I want to join NBC? As CBS has figured out, you cannot assume to be the be all, end all site for your customers. You have to reach out to them, where they are on the net. A huge bravo to CBS!

Smith added that the network may reach out to fan-site producers to program CBS’ Web-site content. He cited a fan clip he admired: a digest of every season of The Sopranos in seven minutes, now available on YouTube. That clip might be too long, violating guild contracts and causing rights issues, but the network might take such an example and create a version running two minutes, he said.

I don’t know who put what in the CBS water cooler, but it’s working! Bringing in fans/customers to help build website content? Wow, pretty amazing. Now we still have networks, including CBS’s other half Viacom, trying to sue the pants off everyone, but it’s an encouraging development nonetheless. Let’s hope others take notice.

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