CNET Expands Video Content to Xbox 360, Samsung Smart TVs

Tech news platform to heavily integrate second-screen experience

2012 was a huge year for digital video and connected TV, leaving online publishers wracking their brains figuring out how to push the medium forward in 2013. To stay ahead of the curve, CNET announced today it would make its video programming available across Xbox 360 and Samsung Smart TVs later this month.

CNET's move to reach every corner of the digital living room is a strategy that's becoming increasingly popular for digital publishers, who are gravitating toward high-quality video to supplement text and traditional Web content. As a result of the partnerships, Xbox 360 and Samsung Smart TV owners will be able to access CNET's original video as well as live-streamed tech events and product reviews. CNET's expansion to Samsung and Xbox products is no doubt due to the success of its content across Roku streaming devices, where the tech property said it has seen a 150 percent year-over-year increase in completed video views.

Using a companion video app, CNET will look to push to a user's smartphone or tablet content that's related to content shown on the main screen. The idea is to supplement the video content with social-sharing prompts, quizzes and polls aimed at keeping people engaged across multiple platforms.

As viewers continue to move to a multi-screen environment, data from partnerships like CNET's will help marketers extend their reach into the digital living room. On top of new opportunities through Xbox's NUads Kinect-powered platform, CNET hopes its digital expansion will give the company further insight into how people consume second-screen content.

"This is really valuable from a marketing and programming perspective," said Mark Larkin, svp and gm of CNET. "We want to learn what our users like and don't like and make sure we're serving the content they expect while also extrapolating and surprising users with new content." 

While the intuitive technology could help to usher in a new living room experience, CNET and all publishers looking to tackle a multiple screen experience have to be careful not to inundate the user with an avalanche of content across devices, an issue that Larkin has grappled with.

"It's easy to see that there is an opportunity to over-message," he said. "The second screen is supposed to be supplementary, and because we own all our content and originate it from script level upwards, we can be precise about how we message and target the content." While targeting and content pushes to mobile will grow more sophisticated over time, there is bound to be friction as users get used to more invasive and targeted content recommendations, though.