CBS launched the CBS Brand Channel on YouTube in October, and within one month, reportedly has become the number one content channel on the service. The network has posted more than 300 clips, which have been viewed more than 29 million times. One of the most interesting facts is that a number of the clips are from late night programming including “David Letterman” and “Craig Ferguson”. The intriguing detail is that since CBS started posting the clips on YouTube, Letterman’s ratings are up 5 percent, and Ferguson’s are up 7 percent.
I’ve also described the networks’ attempts at IPTV as “throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks”. I have no doubt that many execs feared that they might canibalize viewer ratings by “giving away” the highlights on YouTube, but it appears that the opposite has happened. There’s no proof — as far as I know — that the YouTube postings are responsible for the ratings gains, but it is entirely possible that they play a big part. If that’s the case, then the synergy between IPTV programming and standard broadcast models might lead to a boost for both.