Sunday, 27 May 2007

Disagreeing with Wallstrippers on Why CBS Bought Wallstrip - Sorta

So how stupid am I to disagree with the very people who KNOW why CBS bought them but heck, it's my blog so here I go.

In his posting called "The Magic Is In The Process" Rogers Ehrenberg (who was on their board) says that they CBS bought them:

"to get this know-how and to expand it beyond Wallstrip into a provider of leading-edge web video content." (ok I am not disagreeing with this agreement here...) and he points to one article (NYTimes) and two blog posting, Fred Wilson (investor) and VC Ratings (Joshua Jaffe VC) which all talk about how CBS bought Wallstrip for the technology and production know how. (here's where I am going to disagree....sorta)

Everyone seems to want to focus in on the production process for Wallstrip and I certainly get that - figuring out how to do it for less, mastering the marketing of Wallstrip brilliant. But the first time I saw Wallstrip I thought, that smart fucker Howard - look at that...and it wasn't about the production process or even the talent. It was the style. Wallstrip was different than any of the video blogs I had seen because they created more of a micro-TV show. And over time, the actual style of Wallstrip became its brand the same way that David E. Kelly's shows became his brand.

So IMHO, CBS didn't buy only the technology or the production process, what they bought was the Wallstrip BRAND (not content - brand)! And like any good media brand, they are going to now extend it to a bunch of different micro-TV shows that will likely be different than Wallstrip but someone feel like the same franchise.

This isn't about old media meets new. It's about smart media companies getting their business asses in gear and looking out past their quarterly results to build something that will be meaningful for their audiences in the future.

Whew. I am done now. I feel better.


Howard said...

I love you :)

Leigh said...


Mark said...

I'm with you on this one, Leigh. We've seen similar success formulae on TV with the David Kelly and CSI franchises, and online with Gawker Media. What's happening here is precisely the same old (relatively tired and true) success formula of TV called spin-off, something that the CBS brain trust should know well. The Wallstrip know-how here is how to craft a certain voice and presence in creative (writing, casting, editing - and this weekend's Sopranos parody is priceless), not tech, because (let's face it) the tech aspects aren't that difficult today. (Notice how they're using Revver for delivery?)

Leigh said...

And considering they bought Wallstrip for 5 million dollars - I am thinking I know a few people they could have called who could have given them the production angles and a bunch of people who could have deconstructed the marketing model for less than say ...2 million?

Fraser said...

That dances close on the line between brand and know-how. The show may have had a feel, much like a David E Kelly shoe, but there's production talent / internet video know-how to be able to produce a micro-tv show on a tight budget that retains a "feel".

Leigh said...

Brand doesn't line dance Fraser! I would say their know-how is part of their brand.

Hey any thoughts on what shows they will do next? I want something for kids (sponsored by???).

It could be called, "if you eat your breakfast" and be geared towards before school - a five minute Internet video reward (vs debating whether they can watch an entire TV program which makes you late out the door)

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