The USA Today article on Current TV makes a terrific argument for digital content to be multi-platform. With Current TV up for sale, a likely buyer could be a web brand seeking to expand its presence through cable TV. Sure, CBS could use additional cable networks to add to its roster. Why they spun off Viacom always seemed a questionable move. And other cable networks would love to have access to 60 million homes although any owner change could affect distribution. But additional buyers should come from the web, according to Michael Wolfe, USA Today writer.
"For the likes of The Huffington Post, Vice, TMZ, The Daily Beast, Gawker, BuzzFeed, CollegeHumor, Deadline Hollywood and Business Insider,
Current TV could finally be a way to real money. These enterprises,
having built major digital brands, now find themselves handicapped by
digital business models." His rationale, while web properties barely showed a profit, if any, Current TV "took in $101 million with nearly $12 million in cash flow." Yes, there is still money in TV advertising.
Huffington Post/AOL seems a likely buyer. With a streaming channel on their website, they could provide this additional content to cable homes and grow their audience substantially. To be successful in this digital world seems to require being accessible across multiple platforms. Cable networks have been able to use the web to share its content, both as clips and full shows. TMZ has gone the other direction, moving from a web presence to syndicated programming. Success ultimately comes from being available across multiple platforms to reach an audience wherever they are. While streaming media is making its way to the smart TV, full blown cable access, preferred by many still, may be the best way to grow both revenue and profit. And for that reason alone, Current TV could be a great asset to the right media company.