CBS Pulls Off Cross-Platform Paul McCartney Coup

Paul McCartney on Late Night With David Letterman

Finally, some serious synergy … CBS (NYSE: CBS) parlayed Wednesday’s appearance by Paul McCartney on The Late Show with David Letterman into a surprise mini-concert from the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater — and then into a web-exclusive set. In front of cameras on scaffolds across from the theater where he first played with the Beatles in a legendary show 45 years ago, McCartney played seven songs for a live crowd on Broadway (one lane stayed open).

Two of the songs aired during the show; five, including Back in the USSR and Helter Skelter, are online only at the Late Show site and CBS Interactive’s TV.com. The video can’t be embedded so all the traffic is being funneled to the sites (a plus for CBS but not so much for fans); the pre-roll ad I saw was for Tanqueray gin. [Update: Embedding is now enabled so we’ve added the video below. Nicely done.]

The video has a very you-are-there feel; not awesome sound but it works. The entire 22-minute set went online as the show ended on the east coast; Letterman episodes usually have more lag time. One small thing — I may have missed it but I don’t recall Letterman telling people to go to the website for more Sir Paul. Also, I’m not sure yet if the video can be seen (legally) outside the U.S. (The answer is yes.)

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