Many complain that the auto industry is being unethical keeping their business model alive. They keep on making and selling vehicles which rely on petroleum-based gasoline, even though cleaner, more efficient options do exist including electric-powered cars.
Why am I discussing this in a blog about the creation, distribution and interaction of content? There is one large, major media company which unlike its competitors runs its legacy television broadcast business in the same way.
That company is CBS, the General Motors of television.
ABC, NBC and their sister cable networks target a certain, young demographic to determine ad rates. CBS does not. They aim to have the largest number of viewers for their programs, and they generally do.
However, this success may only be good for the short term. Television audiences are shrinking across the board. Even Fox’s American Idol, consistently the highest rated program on US television, has seen its ratings drop. On the broadcast front, CBS may be #1 in prime time television, but the significance of that designation continues to fall in value.
Does this make CBS wrong? Are they planting seeds to grow new, younger viewers? Do they even need to? Sure, they have their sports division, featuring the NFL and NCAA basketball tournament. CBS Corporation a 50% owner of The CW and their buzzworthy shows like the new 90210 and Gossip Girl. However, they don’t instantly stream many of their shows online and are the only major US television network to not be a part of Hulu.
CBS is making a boatload of money in the aged, traditional business of prime time broadcast television. Once this market dries up, will CBS be able to prevail? Please discuss in the comments.