Moonves Details Digital Strategy For CBS
February 27, 2008 at 6:12 AM (PT)
While web-related financials were typically sparse, CBS head LESLIE MOONVES did provide key insights into the company's digital dealings during TUESDAY's fourth-quarter earnings call, reports MEDIAPOST.COM. Illustrating his belief that an "Internet audience is additive to our core audience," CBS Corp.'s Pres./CEO pointed to the network's cross-platform coverage of the NCAA MARCH MADNESS college basketball tournament.
CBS's ad-supported MARCH MADNESS ON DEMAND business is all the more compelling, added MOONVES, because its growth has required virtually no additional investment. "Our costs remain exactly the same as they were the first year," he said. "The great majority of that $21 million will drop to the bottom line, contributing to the hundreds of millions in interactive revenue across the company."
MOONVES also discussed how CBS has been financing various digital initiatives.
"We've pruned our asset mix to shed some of our lower-growth businesses like certain small-market TV and radio stations," he said. "We've used a portion of the proceeds to invest in other higher-growth areas like LAST.FM."
Late last month, through deals with UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, SONY/BMG, WARNER MUSIC GROUP, and EMI GROUP, CBS proclaimed LAST.FM to be the biggest free, ad-supported music service online--and the future of the global music business. Since then, LAST.FM has "posted a 92% increase in U.S. listening," MOONVES said. "We're beginning to monetize those results now. Whether it's over the air or on the Internet, it's about content, and online it's our strategy to reach people wherever they are and bring our content to them. That's why we created the CBS audience network, which has more than 300 affiliated Websites."