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CBSNews.com SVP/GM Betsy Morgan said the company was fixed on sharing its videos on sites around the web, having realized it needed to give away some content elsewhere to drive viewers back to its own sites. Morgan said the company had decided, on the eve of the Iraq war, to make CBSNews.com videos ad-supported “and that’s given us a leg-up as video has exploded in the last 12 months. … We’re focused on putting out video not only on CBSNews.com but also on syndicated partners – not being afraid people won’t come to our home site, but if they’re on any number of sites we’re going to where they are as well as just asking them to come to where we are.”
— YouTube: “We’ve got a team of lawyers that goes through pirated CBS News videos on YouTube and calls up YouTube every day and says ‘you’ve got to take down these clips’. Every pirated 60 Minutes clip that goes up on YouTube, we’re putting up the authentic, authorized version of that clip. We’re sensitive. If we’re going to take down that illegal video, we are certainly going to give you the experience of that piece [by supplying a new clip] and often the quality is considerably better.” The companies launched the CBS Channel on YouTube in October 2006, but an expected partnership between the two that would have included revenue-sharing for clips and shows on YouTube collapsed in February.
— Syndication: Distributing clips off-site – or, “exploding” video, as Marketspace chairman Jeff Rayport called it this morning – was a theme picked up by fellow video session panelists. Disney-ABC digital media EVP Albert Cheng said he wanted to “push our content out … to plug in to all these websites”. BBC internet controller Tony Ageh said: “We don’t have any fear with people finding other routes to BBC News. We’re looking for partnerships with global distributors. We need to ensure it’s about quality of our messages and getting correct attribution back, while giving users the control that they want.”
— Ads: Cheng – “In terms of driving business and usage, ad-supported is definitely the winner; the demographics are very attractive. George Kliavkoff, NBCU chief digital officer: “Fall this year, we started distributing full episodes – the concern was that it would cannibalize our viewership [but] reports are that it’s actually helping viewership and gives people a reason to come back each week. [We’re] very pleased by that.”