CBS Doesn't Get Much Back Talk From YouTubers

What Everyone Is Talking About

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NEW YORK ( -- CBS is quite happy with its director's channel on YouTube. So happy that it sent out a press release touting its 29.2 million views for its more than 300-plus video clips it has uploaded to the video-sharing site, recently scooped up by Google. What makes CBS even more happy is the viewers who stay up to watch its late-night shows since the YouTube CBS channel debuted Oct. 18. "Late Night With David Letterman" and "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" both got a nice bump in viewers last month (200,000 and 100,000 respectively) that just so happens to coincide with clips of both shows getting pretty good play on YouTube.

Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, in the release said he sees YouTube as a place to start a conversation with viewers: "Professional content seeds YouTube and allows an open dialogue between established media players and a new set of viewers. We believe this inflection point is the precursor to many exciting developments as we continue to build bridges rather than construct walls."

It's true that CBS clips get featured regularly in the sponsor slot on the home page, and both David Letterman and Craig Ferguson are showing up an awful lot more on the "Most Viewed" pages. (That could also be due, in part, to the absence of Comedy Central's "Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and "Colbert Report," which parent Viacom has pulled off.) But many of the clips don't seem to engender much chatter. Even one of this week's most viewed clips, "Richards Simmons Exploding Steamer" from a David Letterman show, had no comments at the time this was written. A steady YouTube contributor, a character named Lisa Nova who posts updates as to how her fictitious singing career is developing, posted a video seven hours before the Richard Simmons clip went up, "Lisa Nova's Life is About to Change & So Can Yours," and had received 491 comments.

The odd part about this is clips from shows that users uploaded, where the audience acted as the filter to what was the best bit worth sharing, routinely get commented on. Those posts, however, are now the ones being yanked down as fast as YouTube and Google can get them off. CBS is now the one telling us what was funny, but it seems people are more inclined to join in the laugh when their friends are already laughing.
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