CBS is rightfully proud of their success on Youtube. Copyrighted material has value. Now whether Youtube was responsible for ratings increase or not, is not something anyone can answer. An argument can be made, as many commenters have suggested, that they know longer have to make an appointment to watch TV or even program their DVRs. They simply go to Youtube to cherry pick the best parts of CBS’s programming.
That isnt necessarily bad. Contrary to popular belief, the value of these viewings lies not in promotion, but rather in getting paid for people viewing ads around the web based video content. I truly believe that what CBS is doing with Innertube helps attach people to programs and incents them to watch the shows on TV. Watching a full episode attachs you. You have made a committ to watch. That committment can extend to making an appointment to watch or TIVO the show., Watching clips on videohosting sites is cherry picking and preserves the users ability to not have to committ to the show and allows them to pick up on anything that captures the publics interest and they want to find out what the talk is about. That is the definition of viral right ?
But from a business perspective Sumner Redstone isnt going to let Viacom/CBS or any of his entities give somehting away for nothing. It always comes down to money and EPS. So the real question is which form of video earns the greatest amount of money. Right now the new money and easier money is on the web. CPMs can be comparable to network. For now. But that will change as a glut of video comes online and CPMs fall like a rock in the next 18 months.
But that wasnt the interesting stuff i read between the lines.
What was most interesting in the CBS press release was that theydidnt give credit to or even acknolwedge user uploaded content. If you are going to celebrate Youtube and its value, isnt that supposed to be at its heart ? What the individual users do with content ?
This isnt a knock on Youtube or CBS in the least bit. It is a leading indicator on what to expect from CBS and other big media companies.
Its about what CBS wants online, not what users want online. Catfight ? only if we say so. Something go not right on the air ? Youtube, take that down.
Thats how I read the release.
And one more thing. I want to know how many CBS/Viacom employees are among those 20k subscribers and why they used Youtubes public, and unquestionably inflated view numbers (again, not a knock on Youtube, just a reality. Views are the equivalent of hits. not reliable).
When big media figures out how to co opt social networks, things change.