CBS said ad spots for TV shows it airs on its online “Audience Network” are selling for more than $20 per thousand viewers — a higher rate than the network charges when it broadcasts the same shows on your TV in prime time.
There’s two ways to view a stat like that. The first: It shows that the CBS’s online audience is much smaller than its broadcast one. CPMs are a function of both price and reach. But the more positive view is that the price also reflects the fact that online viewers tend to be more engaged with the advertising and a lot younger than network TV (median age 38, compared to 53 for TV).
It’s also an academic point, for the time being: CBS has previously said its online inventory is sold out, which CBS Interactive chief Quincy Smith called an ongoing problem. One way to expand inventory is to increase the number of Web sites carrying CBS video. Right now CBS video is on 191 Web sites, Smith said, and he’s in talks to get it on another 148.
What about working with Hulu, the JV between rivals News Corp. and NBCU? In the past, Smith has said he’s not philosophically opposed to getting his stuff there. But he doesn’t sound enthusiastic about it, either, noting that until Hulu can offer him a revenue split comparable to the one he’s getting on his home-grown network, he won’t be playing along.
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