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CBS Interactive launches content studio to capitalize on mobile content

Digital content network CBS Interactive launched in-house production company Studio 61 to develop mobile and digital content exclusively for brands and marketers.

This new initiative takes advantage of the growing popularity of viral mobile content. The studio will focus on producing marketing content to engage consumers. 

?CBS Interactive?s move to create a break off and build Studio 61 makes a lot of sense and will likely make the company better positioned to win more creative projects.? said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, New York. ?Ads that run through CBS Interactive are mostly video pre-roll, which are expensive ads to produce. 

?CBS Interactive has a lot of data and expertise when it comes to understanding the key ingredients to building an effective video pre-roll ad because it has access to a ton of data on user activity,? she said. ?Yet, they are oddly positioned to build video pre-rolls ads. 

?Brands would probably feel hesitant to hire CBS Interactive to create their video pre-rolls because those brands would want to repurpose that ad to run with other publishers, even competitors, as well. It therefore makes more sense for a third party to build the creative assets and for that agency/party to have CBS Interactive and any other publishers that may run the ad in mind when designing it.?

Content forum
Studio 61 will be a collaboration of creative content as well as accurate information about the CBS Interactive user. The network wants to discover as much as possible about the consumer to provide content that will resonate. 

Global media agency MEC is the first to join Studio 61. MEC is known for Visa?s Moments of Speed campaign where it uses Olympic gold medalist Ussain Bolt to showcase how fast the payment system can work. 
MEC was also behind the creation of a tree growing Tim Tam candy bars in the middle of Sydney, Australia. The odd campaign was positive for Tim Tam and quickly went viral.

These types of attention-grabbing advertisements are exactly the kind of content that Studio 61 plans to create. Videos, social media, infographics and custom data are a few initiatives that will be seen from the collaboration. 

CBS Interactive provides CBS-owned entertainment and news content through digital platforms. Originally starting out as an online platform, the network soon had to focus on mobile, and especially its application.
In a conversation with Mobile Marketer, Rob Gelick, senior vice president and general manager of digital platforms at CBS Interactive Entertainment, discussed the importance of mobile for CBS (see story).

Revenue feed
CBS Interactive is one of many companies moving forward with an in-house content creation unit for advertisers. Last year social and entertainment news Web site Buzzfeed teamed up with marketing agency DigitasLBi. 

A team of Buzzfeed employees is working in DigitasLBi?s New York offices to accomplish a similar goal to CBS Interactive.. 

Two years ago, Huffington Post opened its own in-house agency, HuffPost Partner Studio, exclusively for branded content. 

Similarly, Viacom Velocity is Viacom?s response to this trend, helping its advertisers create content to sit alongside its own material. 

By tapping into already popular mobile trends, advertisers should be able to connect with their target audience easily. 

Although these digital companies are creating in-house agencies, traditional advertisement organizations will not become obsolete.

?Generally, it is better to have creative work built by an agency than a publisher,? Ms. Lowy said. ?The reason for that is because brands usually work with many publishers to promote their content. 

?The number of publishers can range from a few to many thousands,? she said. ?Thousands of publishers may sound like a big number but it isn?t when you consider that most of the prominent networks tap into thousands of sites. If you work with just one of these networks, your ads can potentially land on thousands of different sites.
?Needless to say it?s inefficient to work with thousands of publishers to create custom creative work for each one. A lot of the work can be repurposed for many of them. You need to look at the project as a whole and decide what creative work needs to be done to run on all the sites. Brands will therefore look to an in-house team or an agency to build out creative assets so that they can run smoothly across the entire media plan.? 

Final Take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York