CNN, IBS and free Pipeline

In a major series of moves CNN announced a ownership interest in IBS, a content sharing deal with 70 TV station and the end of Pipeline as a paid service.

From Lost Remote:

“The site is expanding into local news with a deal with Internet Broadcasting to post stories from 70 of IB’s local TV websites, reports the WSJ. In exchange, CNN is taking a minority position in the company, and IB affiliates can post CNN stories. NBC-owned sites are not included in the deal, as they’re pursuing a similar track with MSNBC.com (see our earlier story).

CNN says the arrangement is designed to drive up traffic for both partners. Also, this summer CNN.com is planning on rolling out a redesigned site with all of its video available for free — a fundamental shift away from CNN Pipeline’s subscription model — and local video could be included.”

From the comments:

“CNN.com: Big win..tons more content, bigger footprint for sales. Pulled a fast one on the little guys here, aided and abetted by IBS (my guess how this came together).

IBS: Winner…mainly due to bigger footprint for sales/chance to participate in larger network packages.

IBS’ Stations: Short-term…boost to traffic and revenue (albeit low-CPM). Long term, dumb…dumb, dumb, dumb. Feeding the beast – partnering/banding together for scale is not a bad idea, but CNN is the wrong partner. Access to CNN.com national content for stations isn’t a bad thing, but national content is available from lots of sources to put on local sites, and in any event not really what local audiences are looking for on local TV sites. And if they can’t ultimately generate more money via local sales, they aren’t trying hard enough.”

“Locals need to focus on creating local content, not on bringing in more content people can get elsewhere, especially from a big-name news site.”

Update: I just spoke to someone who knows the details of this deal. It is indeed a link-back-and-forth arrangement. Sort of a preferred aggregation approach.

This suddenly became a much better deal for the station sites.”

From Lost Remote:

“Pipeline will be free beginning next month, and CNN.com plans to repackage all of its video offerings (likely dumping the Pipeline brand) by July 1st.

To clarify the CNN-IB deal — which was the source of a lot of discussion earlier — a source tells Lost Remote that CNN.com will link directly to IB local stories and vice-versa. In effect, it’s a preferred aggregation approach that’s designed to boost unique users for both partners. IB stories will be linked on CNN.com on their merits, which will appear on CNN.com’s home page and U.S. and weather sections.

IB will sell banner ad packages in select CNN.com inventory and IB inventory, according to Joe Dugan, SVP CNN Digital Ad Sales. “Both companies will continue to work with our respective clients and we will work closely with IB to avoid sales conflicts when contacting new clients. We see this relationship as an extension of our sales team,” Dugan said.”

About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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