We’ll hear a lot of talk about what the c|net purchase means for CBS and the other way around. I’m just going to talk for a moment about the positives for both companies.
c|net owns tv dot com, radio dot com, news dot com and mp3.com. If you haven’t been paying attention to what CBS is doing with their radio stations online, you’ve been missing out. Check out CBS’ Radio Player to see that they are clearly trying to push themselves onto the internet and make themselves be more accessible. You can access all of their stations at any time, save when the Yankees are on WCBS AM and in similar sticky licensing situations.
If this player gets to be a little more full featured, you’re looking at the new radio dot com domain. Building out from there a little bit, you should have the ability to scrobble songs that you are listening to directly to Last dot FM or create your own stations based on the CBS radio properties. The ability to buy songs from Amazon (because of their affiliate program) should also be built into the radio system. If an artist has an mp3 dot com page, a link should appear. If a song has been featured on a CBS or Viacom show, a link to the show and potentially a clip of the show or DVDs for purchase should be available too. Of course, this is also surrounded by advertising that’s in house (CBS TV shows, CBS radio, National Amusements ads, Viacom properties, or any number of relevant c|net programs, etc.)
That’s just radio dot com. In terms of CBS’ television programming, they just purchased one of the most knowledgeable technology collectives that has ever existed. Not only that, but many of c|net’s personalities came to c|net with television backgrounds. c|net has many production facilities in their offices, so not only does CBS get top notch technology coverage, but they get it with people who are experienced with television and have a cult internet following. CBS will not have to train Molly Wood or Natali Del Conte like ABC assumed it would have to train Amanda Congdon. Nor would they have to shelve the c|net talent into a quirky segment like ABC did with Congdon either. I can also easily see a home for MobLogic dot tv and Wallstrip on c|net.
The bottom line with this is that c|net’s talent is mature. there’s no way that CBS could have bought Weblogs Inc or the Gawker networks and had so many people that were production and TV ready. The business, science and technology pundits they just bought with c|net might be the greatest asset they purchased.
While the evening news might not benefit from the technology coverage available, CNBC and MSNBC would benefit. CBS’ book publisher Simon and Schuster would benefit from the technology knowledge that c|net has too. I’m sure that they could easily jump into the tech book game and give O’Reilly a run for their money by leveraging c|net employees.
c|net benefits because they have much wider resources thanks to CBS’ news department and they also have access to CBS’ library, which leaves them open to do a wider variety of programs. c|net also knows how to do content online, which is something that not everyone knows how to do. www.c|netTV.com is the proof in the pudding with that.
I could go on for a long time as to how these two companies can integrate their properties, and I haven’t touched on advertising at all yet.
Someone over there should hire me to handle this acquisition.