Schechner and Vascellaro write, “The new CNET.com includes a ‘brand showcase’ feature, allowing advertisers to pay for pages where they can promote products with links to CNET reviews, a service for which CBS can charge higher rates, according to Joe Gillespie, who oversees CNET.com. Amanda Richman, who runs the digital practice for Publicis Groupe SA’s Starcom MediaVest, says ‘there is a drive in the market for the scale and the efficiencies,’ that a combined CBS/CNET offers.
“Founded in 1992, CNET was an early content leader on the Web, growing through a stable of sites centered on technology news and product reviews. But in recent years, competition from blogs and other sites caused U.S. readership on some key properties to decline.
“The new CNET.com highlights another priority for CBS’s online strategy: video. A large window that will soon play high-definition video within the homepage promotes the site’s video content, including relevant clips from CBS broadcasts. Mr. Gillespie says video ads can sell for double normal ad rates on the site.”
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