Thursday, October 11, 2007

CBS Interactive Scares Up Web Series

CBS is certainly working hard to be a player in the interactive space. Their latest announcement, an on-line series with a Halloween theme, sounds fun and interesting. And as a stand-alone opportunity, another video in a crowded field.

My question though is what is CBS's strategic plan. What does this series bring to the space that supports their bigger objectives. Yes it is consistent with their plans to be distribution neutral, allowing its content to be seen inside many different distribution portals, AOL, Comcast, Verizon and many others. But it is the content itself, the choices they are making of what to include, that has no common thread.

Unless CBS is considering buying The Horror Channel, or perhaps AMC and the Monsterfest brand, The series, "How to Survive a Horror Movie" does not bring more to the CBS brand other than as filler. In fact, this series should have been picked up by those nets to expand the value of those brands.

I'm surprised that CBS is not looking for web product that is synergistic with their TV and Radio brands and keeps the user moving among the CBS properties. What does CBS expect the viewer to do after they watched the webisode; what next CBS product might they move the viewer toward? The inclusion of this program on the website just looks disjointed and out of place. It is listed as a web exclusive; so what. As CBS looks to monetize the web, consider shows that bring your viewer from web to TV and from TV to the web. Unless your trying to tie in "Survive a Horror Movie" with " Ghost Whisperer", your viewers will be hard pressed to care.