In a press conference at Mipcom here in Cannes, CBS (NYSE: CBS) president Leslie Moonves added more detail to his view from yesterday on Last.fm’s worth to CBS: “Our next step is monetising it – as it is with all these internet sites – there’s a lot of sites out there and not a whole lot of them are making money. The idea is now to advertise, to bring it more to the United States as well.
“But one of the reasons we liked the idea of buying it is, if we can develop a great social networking site around this music content, why couldn’t this extend in to entertainment, in to news sports, all businesses that we’re in, sharing content, sharing ideas about the content … ‘if you like this TV show, you’ll like that TV show’ … chatting about this football game, or that tennis match or whatever – using the brains behindto pot expand in to those other areas. They’re a great bunch of guys and very different from your usual CBS execs – they wear torn t-shirts and don’t wear ties, but they just made a lot of money.” CBS bought for $280 million (£137.38 million) in May.
– iTunes: Could CBS follow NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) in ending its digital download contract with iTunes? The company is happy to use it but not 100 percent satisfied, it seems. Moonves toldduring a press conference in Cannes this morning: “We enjoy our relationship with them — we find that it is found money for us. We are getting paid a decent amount of money for everything. Weeds does extremely well because Weeds is only in 13 million households in the United States – therefore there are a lot of people who get that show only through iTunes because they don’t necessarily get Showtime. Do we have questions about the price point with iTunes? Absolutely. (But) we feel iTunes is very good … promotional vehicle for CBS products” We do not quite feel the same way as NBC does and we plan on continuing that relationship with iTunes and we’re very happy with it.”
– Hulu: Moonves: “We were initially asked to join in the joint venture with Fox and NBC. We think it’s an interesting venture – we decided that the Audience Network was better. I don’t like joint ventures particularly – I like our company making decisions on what to do. We think this a better way to go for us. That’s not to say we would rule out (joining it in future), but right now we feel differently about it.”
– Ads: “If somebody wants to share an episode of CSI with a friend after it’s been on CBS, fine with us – there is advertising on it. If they transfer it, as long as the advertising is still there and they are getting more advertising and we can count those viewers, we’re fine.”