CBS Goin' Mobile
CBS Corp. has created a new mobile division, splitting it off from its interactive division, and has placed German wunderkind Cyriac Roeding in charge.
I met Roeding last summer in L.A., where CBS Interactive is based.
I found him tall, young, blond and engaging. At only 33, he had already founded and run a German telecomm called 12Snap that was a platform for mobile marketing and entertainment. He has a German engineering degree, an American MBA and did a turn studying Japanese management in Tokyo.
He said something that struck me. He held up a cell phone and said: The mistake that people make is thinking of this as a two-inch TV screen.
Which means, it may be a mistake just to chop up TV shows and movies and put them on a cell phone -- maybe people don't want to watch that way.
Instead, Roeding believes the mobile device is a piece of equipment for interactivity with media. He cited some stats that took me by surprise, such as a majority of younger people have their cell phones with them while watching TV. It's the one thing you have with you when you're interacting with all forms of media -- TV, radio, movies, games and so on.
Hence, mobile content should be different from content made for TV and movie screens.
Last fall, CBS Digital rolled out a sports update service that sends scores, updates and fantasy league info to cell phones in the form of digital files.
Last month, CBS rolled out a 24/7 mobile channel, featuring CBS shows such as the "CSI:" canon.
Today, Roeding said he's thinking bigger than just handheld devices. For instance, he's looking for ways to integrate what his division does with CBS's Outdoor division, which has thousands of billboards -- many of them digital -- around the country, such as turning them into WiFi hotspots.
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