Thursday, May 31, 2007

CBS buys Analysis

You may have read recently that CBS has bought for $280 million. The stated rationale being:

"$280 Million Acquisition Gives CBS One of the Largest Social Platforms with More Than 15 Million Active Users In More than 200 Countries."

Reading through the various press release, and related articles, I was expecting to hear something about The Copyright Royalty Board, but nothing. I also find it interesting that this deal closed now, and didn't wait a couple months to see the dust settle. That said, I have no doubt CBS did its due diligence and is aware of these threats. The deal emphasizes the social networking aspect of, and understandably so.

So, is this deal about radio, social networking, or both? Although it would appear to be about both, I don't hear much business banter about internet radio. What has hit a fevered pitch is social networking. Facebook is going crazy right now, and based on some of the API services their running now, this is the platform to beat (forget MySpace: Google, MSN, and Yahoo! watch your back). In fact, I just heard about this morning about a new service called which is using the Facebook platform to help people find others with similar music tastes, based primarily on users iTunes library. It's a cool idea, and I wish them the best - same goes for

But how relevant is social networking to radio? This has yet to be determined. For me, when it comes to radio, social networking still takes a back seat to the broadcasters and deejays themselves. Simply put, radio is a very very passive medium. It's not like collecting music where you're reading liner notes, and making decisions about what to buy, and how to organize it. It's not even all that much like television which is also pretty passive, where you can talk about an interesting episode of Lost, or who's going to get voted off of Idol.

For me (and according to most statistics I've read), radio is for the most part a pleasant distraction while we work, drive, exercise, go for a walk, or wake up in the morning. I've got my favourite stations, and yes I'll go out and look for others from time to time (thank you ;) ). Of course friends can recommend good stations, and that no doubt will be something to watch for.

Maybe you'll see on Facebook, in the very near future...

Stay TUN3D.

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