CBSi Chief: Staying off Hulu was the right strategic decision

Jim Lanzone at RoadMap 2011

Jim Lanzone at RoadMap 2011CBS has been a bit of a black sheep over the last several years, as it was the only one of the major broadcasters not to join the Hulu consortium and make its shows available on the video site. But Thursday morning at GigaOM RoadMap, CBS Interactive president Jim Lanzone said he believed that keeping those videos on its own site was the right strategic decision.

Lanzone pointed to CBS.com’s success as the top-ranked network site for 35 months in a row as proof that keeping viewers on its properties was the right move. Not just that, but CBS’ success in digital can be measured in real dollars. Lanzone said that ad yields on digital viewership are comparable to what the network gets from its TV broadcasts.

Part of the reason online video has been complementary to its traditional revenue stream is that Lanzone believes it isn’t necessarily disruptive to the live TV audience, but mainly competing with the DVR as just one more way to view time-shifted video. For CBS.com, which maintains the ability to sell its own ads and monetize its content over a number of new platforms, that will provide incremental revenue over and above its TV ad dollars.


Photo by Pinar Ozger.

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