CBS continues to extend its notion of the audience as the network, today announcing a bunch of deals with social services to enable and encourage embedding of their clips — among them WordPress, Ning, and Voxant. I’m not sure, for example, what a deal with WordPress means; I can already embed clips from a number of CBS’ distributors. But it’s the thought that counts. And that thought, to repeat the words of Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive: “We can’t expect consumers to come to us. It’s arrogant for any media company to assume that.”
The head of one of these distributors, Voxant, just emailed me with his success stories. Voxant enables embedding and pays the embedders. Jeff Crigler emailed (and note that as far as I’m concerned, he misuses the term ‘mash’ — which means to remake and manipulate — when he really means ‘embed’):
I know you have been following this long-tail syndication stuff. We’ve had an interesting couple of months at voxant. I think its kind of relevant to how ultimately new media gets its legs.
About a month ago we signed the NHL deal and got their hockey videos up in TheNewsRoom.com Three weeks ago we started blogging about it and sending very personalized emails to some of the top hockey blogs and small web sites. Then an amazing thing happened. One of the hockey blogs came to TNR and mashed [that is, embedded -ed] some clips. then a couple of others…. then a swarm of others. All of the sudden we are driving gobs of traffic to hockey sites who have grabbed our game highlights and “hockey fights” videos from the news room. The echo chamber actually started working. Before you turn around a third of our traffic was hockey stuff and we had bloggers and web sites coming back on a daily basis to get the latest game highlights.
So, for demonstration purposes, here’s a CBS clip via Voxant. This is one of those ridiculous you-could-write-them-before-you-see-them stories TV loves to do: Amercians are taking to the road this holiday weekend… gas prices are higher/lower… the triple-A says…. yadayadayada. Note that I just made fun of the segment and got paid for it. But that’s good: you want to be in the midst of the conversation, sometimes starting it.