February 15, 2007
Formation of CBS Mobile a Further Indication of a Commitment to Mobile Media Extensions

One big piece of news I neglected to mention on the blog over the past couple of weeks is news that CBS Interactive is creating a new division to focus particularly on wireless entertainment. The division, given the no-frills title CBS Mobile, will help direct the links the company has built with a variety of mobile distributors, such as Verizon V CAST.

Plans for the new cell service includes original mini-soap operas for mobile distribution, which will launch this year.

I don't know the specifics of the soap opera related plan, but the shift of CBS indicates that companies are getting more and more serious about formulating a definite mobile media plan.

CBS has been very forward-thinking in regard to some of the series and cross-platform distribution through CBS innertube for Web content, and this move more boldly into mobile media indicates the company is forwarding a multi-platform distribution model for its future.

This drive stems from the formation of CBS Interactive, which I wrote about back in November. Quincy Smith, formerly with the investment bank Allen & Co., came to CBS to help formulate a more aggressive approach to the company's new media efforts.

At the time, I wrote, "Smith's job will be to oversee CBS innertube, the online platform for redistribution of CBS shows and original Internet-only programming, as well as the various CBS Web sites. His job will also be to oversee the general trajectory of CBS' digital efforts and to forge partnerships for the network in expanding this area."

Underlying this CBS decision is reports from groups like Juniper that mobile media will see major growth by 2011, which I wrote about back in December.

This management of the company's mobile properties include not only CBS but also Showtime, The CW, CSTV and Simon & Schuster.

The press release is available here.