CBS is outgrowing its need to distribute its own content on the Web. You’d think the networks would have figured this out sooner. The networks never were destinations. That role belonged to the affiliates, a bunch of used-car salesmen with FCC licenses.
The Journal is reporting that CBS has learned it can’t go it alone on the Web and is now syndicating promiscuously: with YouTube, Facebook, Joost, and …uh… Slide. Good for them. This is the beginning of something big. And now the real fight is about who gets to sell the ads and count the money.
Jeff Jarvis is right to say this is the way all media executives should be thinking. We’re seeing a return the separation of content creation and distribution on the web. Nineteenth century economics made distributors feel they needed vertically integrate with content creators. After all, isn’t that how Rockefeller (and Sarnoff) did it? But distribution and content creation are really different businesses and when you combine the two, neither gets the respect it deserves. More on that later.
Originally published on my blog at JupiterResearch.