Last year, the buzz surrounding NBC Universal’s forays into online video was like a deafening crop of emergent cicadas. Brilliant But Cancelled, Outzone TV, and DotComedy have become huge success stories, introducing archived, contemporary, and totally new content to the online community from a dominant force in traditional media. Not only that, but they managed to be cool at the same time.
Now it’s time for CBS. The media giant whose parent company sued YouTube less than two months ago for copyright infringement has begun a new relationship with Google’s adopted video-sharing site. The channel has started a Brand Channel, a new feature introduced by YouTube last month that allows networks to use an expanded platform to share their product with the site’s proven audience. So far, the CBS Brand Channel has 1,885 videos available online. (NBC did beat CBS to the punch by a few weeks, but the NBC Brand Channel is only sharing 235 videos.)
This is one of the many steps CBS is taking to saturate the online world with its television content, all-in-all making last month’s Viacom lawsuit against YouTube seem like a whiny assertion of dominance.
The past week has seen CBS enter a few new deals for video-sharing with couple online companies like Automattic, Clearspring, Dave Networks, Goowy Media, Meevee, MuseStorm, Ning, RockYou!, VideoEgg, Voxant, vSocial, AOL, Brightcove, Netvibes, Veoh, Microsoft, CNET Networks, Comcast, Joost, Bebo, Amazon, Apple, and Yahoo. You know, just a couple companies.
I’m curious to see where this is going to take CBS, which has always had a more traditional and older demographic in television. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out with the network’s expanded role online.