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Is CBS Starting To Act Like A Digital-First Operation?!

|About: CBS Corporation (CBS), Includes: GOOGL
Summary

I recently argued CBS should (somehow) hire YouTube's Susan Wojcicki.

Most compelling part of CBS earnings? Launch of DNA, its targeted ad platform.

CBS will need to continue to invest in OTT and targeted advertising to stay competitive. DNA is a necessary step.

I recently wrote that CBS should somehow figure out how to hire YouTube’s (GOOGL) Susan Wojcicki to lead the company. I still think that she – or somebody else who has 100% digital experience and 0% traditional media experience – is the right person for the job.

See: What makes YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki such a compelling name to lead CBS?

CBS reported earnings last week – the first of the post-Moonves era. It wasa pretty standard fare:

  • Revenue growth up 3%
  • EPS growth up 12%
  • More content creation, with 76 series in production, up from 65 last year.
  • NFL ratings up 3% after falling for two consecutive years

But the biggest news was the announcement of the launch of DNA (Data n’ Advertising. Ok…), which will help the company better target advertising (the company also launced ET Live last week, its third over-the-top offering. But what good is OTT if you haven’t put in the infrastructure to target ads?)

With DNA, the company will work to move toward a personalized ad targeting system, using data from set-top box providers and smart TVs.

The company’s SVP of investor relations, David Bank, said, “Advertisers can target people who like to eat out and drive SUVs rather than just buy the broad demographic of adults between the ages of 25 and 54.”

CBS gets it! The future of TV isn’t piping in content through your Comcast box, or grabbing over-the-air signals from your flat wall antenna. It’s over-the-top, and the company can make a lot more advertising dollars by serving up targeted ads.

There was no word on how long it will take to put the platform in the action, but at least we know CBS is channeling its inner-Wojcicki.

Disclosure: I am/we are long GOOG.