This business has its eye on the Internet. CBS Interactive oversees the online operations of media giant CBS Corporation, including such websites as CBS.com, CBSNews.com, GameSpot.com, and TV.com. CBS.com hosts CBS Video, a broadband channel that streams CBS Broadcasting content and also features original series created for the Web. CBS Interactive also operates CBSSports.com, a leading sports information site, and the technology-focused online content provider CNET Networks. In addition, the company provides business information through CBS Business Network, which includes BNET.com and CBS MoneyWatch.com. CBS Interactive operates in the US, Asia, and Europe. CBS launched the Interactive division in 2005.
CBS Interactive operates as part of its parent company's Entertainment segment, which also includes CBS Television and CBS Films. (CBS Entertainment is the largest operating segment; other CBS segments are devoted to Cable, Publishing, Local Broadcasting, and Outdoor Advertising.) Most of the Interactive unit's revenue comes from advertising and sponsorship sales. The business also receives fees from search and commerce partners, licensing, subscriptions, and e-commerce.
All total, CBS Interactive's brands reached approximately 256 million unique monthly visitors during the last month of 2010. As a result of a rebound in advertising markets as the economy began to recover, CBS Interactive's display advertising revenues increased 19% in 2010 compared to the previous year. These results were a part of overall revenue increases at the CBS Entertainment segment in 2010.
After reporting these positive earnings, CBS in 2011 further increased its digital holdings with the acquisition of Clicker Media, provider of a searchable online video listings guide. Concurrent with the announcement, CBS installed Clicker Media's co-founder, Jim Lanzone, as head of CBS Interactive. The company has a history of using acquisitions to gain leaders for its digital operations. Lanzone replaces former CBS Interactive CEO Neil Ashe, who had been the CEO of CNET at the time of that company's acquisition by CBS. Ashe left the company in late 2010 after the CNET integration was complete.
The company's 2008 purchase of CNET for about $1.8 billion made CBS one of the top 10 largest Web companies, adding Web properties such as CNET, GameSpot, TV.com, MP3.com, Webshots, CHOW, ZDNet, and TechRepublic into the CBS fold. The purchase also strengthened CBS's international Internet and e-commerce holdings (with offerings such as CNET Content Solutions), and gave the media firm more online advertising opportunities.