CBS Goes YouTube

Douglas A. McIntyre

The management at CBS (CBS) have finally caught on that most people do not want to watch feature length video content on PCs. The screens are small and sound systems weak. Old people like their TVs better. Young people don’t watch TV

What YouTube has proven is that clips which are a few minutes long are endlessly fascinating, especially to teens and twenty-somthings. This dawned on CBS when a video of short edited clips of its “CSI” show got over one million views at YouTube. The network had not made the video. Some pirating young kid did.

No matter whose fault it was, CBS decided to start CBS EyeLab, “a digital-production studio that will create and distribute short clips cut together from the network’s most popular shows,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

If this works well, what does it mean for the other networks? There is Hulu and NBC’s direct download of entire shows. ABC is doing the same thing. Several movie studios have download deals going with the likes of Amazon (AMZN).

If the short clip plan works at CBS, it will be a sign that, once again, simple and inexpensive solutions often trump ones that are expensive and overdone. It’s the law of the jungle.

Douglas A. McIntyre