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@ LATV Festival: 'Content Is King, But Distribution Brings The Bling'

This story was written by Matt Kapko.

"Content is king, but distribution brings the bling," Brian Shin, founder and CEO of Visible Measures, said hesitantly on a panel this morning at the LATV Festival here in Hollywood. Sure it's corny, as he willingly admitted, but it's also a refreshing take on an aged line that nicely summarizes the space content providers large and small find themselves operating in today.

Greg Clayman, executive VP of digital distribution and business development at MTV Networks: "There are audiences out there already that we can bring in, bring the content to and grow the overall pie," he said. As its syndicated more content to more channels its seen its audience grow overall and hopes it can bring many of those viewers back to their content on air. In that aim, MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) has launched new properties like South Park Studios, which puts the entire show's catalog under one roof and enables viewers to embed that content into social networking sites and online video networks. "Over time we've been able to extract the key elements of our player to integrate it better into third-party players." On the retail side, Clayman said iTunes and Xbox are the No. 1 and No. 2 distributors for video purchased online. "It's something that actually is picking up a lot of steam." But the larger opportunity lies in advertising, he said.

Jonathan Leess, president and GM of CBS (NYSE: CBS) Television Stations' digital media group: Since 2004, CBS has been transforming each of its 29 owned TV stations into 24/7 digital content providers that play online, mobile and multiple distribution networks. CBS newsrooms produce about 400 hours of news coverage every week from which 500 short video news clips are produced every day. With that content at the ready, CBS has moved it portal strategy into one mostly pegged around syndication on a local basis. "There is a plethora of desire in uploading to these forums," he said. As CBS builds up its content play on multiple channels many of which it owns it's put a heavy emphasis on training hundreds of local sales representatives on selling in this medium.

John Fitzpatrick, director of business development at The NYC-based startup provides video content providers with a series of monetization options that let them determine the type and source of advertising they'd like to use with their video. Pulling from six different ad networks, each day the company will pick the network that has the highest CPM and try to put those ads into its clients' content based on that data. Content providers that wish to plug in their own source of advertising are charged a $5 CPM for administrative costs while ads that are delivered by carry a 50-50 revenue share. "We've determined this concept of total potential audience. It's a false idea to think if you put your show in one place people are going to find it you have to find your audience wherever they are," Fitzpatrick said. "The dollars are all over the map for web shows right now. It's really all over the map No one's a millionaire yet as a result of working with"

By Matt Kapko

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