September 28, 2007 |
It has been very apparent lately that many television networks are on a trial-and-error basis when it comes to providing content on the web.
Many are now providing full episodes online, but CBS seems to be paying closer attention than most, noticing the shorter attention span of its web audience when compared to television viewers.
In what seems like a step backward, CBS has now launched EyeLab, a service with a collection of short clips from several hit shows that air on the network. The videos will appear to be more along the lines of the user-generated content on YouTube, which CBS is hoping will keep viewers entertained and serve marketing purposes.
Ironically enough, the inspiration for the service came from a YouTube video clip of David Caruso of popular CBS show 'CSI: Miami' entitled “Endless Caruso One-Liners,” in which the amateur creator pasted together several clips of the star's witty catchphrases at the scenes of crimes.
To create its video clips, CBS has hired six young DV editors (working outside CBS headquarters) who will be responsible for creating engaging content for EyeLab, which the network says should make the process more creative and authentic.
“It turns our promotion into content,” said George Schweitzer, the president of CBS Marketing. “The clips about 'CSI' or something from how a director shoots a scene in the show 'NUMB3RS,' these are all things that link back to our shows.”
It is possible that this service could survive, but will it be enough to boost ratings and get more viewers, which is surely CBS' ultimate reasoning.
Research at the network indicates that less than a third of viewers are interested in viewing full-length shows online, according to the President of CBS Interactive, but does that mean that the other two-thirds just want behind-the-scenes footage and blooper reels? I guess if it worked for YouTube, it has a chance here.
It looks like CBS may have the best online strategy yet. Their Innertube full-episode viewer is already one of my favorites of all the networks, allowing users to resume a video where they left off, even after closing the player.
Also, look for the new CBS homepage that is coming soon, which takes the network even further into the world of web 2.0, complete with widgets, tagging capabilities, and profiles for registered users.