CBS Gets Into the Big Data Game

The Eye doubles down on broadcast

CBS may have launched a new streaming service (and announced a new one for daughter network Showtime on the heels of the Apple press conference where HBO Now was unveiled), but traditional TV is where it's at, as far as the television company is concerned. Today, the company unveiled a new product designed to demonstrate TV's reach power to CBS clients, which it's calling "Campaign Performance Audit," or CPA.

In a world full of official-sounding initials, CPA stands out for its amalgamation of third-party metrics into a single data set; CPA's info pulls together numbers from Nielsen units including Catalina Solutions, Buyer Insights, MotorStats, MRI Fusion, Brand Effects and Cambridge Media Demand Landscape. There's also some proprietary data on ad effectiveness done out of CBS's studio complex Television City, but the message here is pretty clear: CBS is in the traditional TV biz to stay.

"Research shows that network television is the most powerful medium in building both brand awareness and equity for marketers," the network's chief research officer David Poltrack said in the company's statement to press.

CBS's more-for-us attitude could reap dividends if its competitors choose to focus on digital properties in the coming months, which seems to be the direction the wind is blowing. As services like Apple TV, Sling and Sony's upcoming Vue service roll out and gain traction, plenty of players are casting about for sexier options than old-fashioned television. CBS is contending that TV is still the most efficient.

The TV ad market is experiencing some trouble, efficient or not: The Standard Media Index reported today that ad spending had declined 4 percent last month when compared to the same time last year. Some of this was simply falloff across all networks reflected in the absence of the Sochi Olympics from the airwaves, the report said, but auto was down 21 percent and financial services was off by 18 percent.

Telco, of course, was up.