Moss on: Welcome to the Multiverse at CBS

Brett Moss is RW gear and technology editor.

Next Tuesday, CBS and Sheryl Crow will give the world a glimpse at what the multiverse is going to look like.

It won’t involve helicars, or jet packs, probably not human/Cylon robots, faceless Asians scurrying about in front of brightly lit advertising signboards or even gum that never loses its flavor; but it will involve content that appears everywhere (or seems to) rather than at just a single type of media outlet.

On that fateful Tuesday (insert dramatic music), Crow will tape a perfectly ordinary new album promo set for the “Late Show With David Letterman” at the show’s Ed Sullivan Theater location. However, after the taping Crow will do a concert that will be streamed onto the Internet, notably at the “Late Night” website. The concert will also be packaged to air on CBS radio affiliates that evening and additionally immediately made available to be podcast, downloaded or viewed on-demand at numerous websites and Internet services. Those included are VEVO,,,,, CBS TV station websites and many others. Much of that is the work of CBS Interactive Music Group’s partnerships program.

No word yet on a smartphone app, but there’s still time.

Obviously this kind of multicast firepower costs money and other resources. It can’t be provided for everyone; at least not yet. But it shouldn’t be lost that in comparison to a simulcast, once a single stream is output, it can be duplicated, reformatted and “published” to a seemingly infinite number of targets.

Besides making Sheryl Crow fans happy (and eager to buy that new album), it’s a marketing dream. The new album, “100 Miles from Memphis,” gets invaluable promotion and it is promotion that has persistence. CBS gets a nice injection from its own promotion as well.

Yes, not everyone has the vast resources of the CBS empire (once known for being leery of online content), but that’s no excuse for mid-level and even small-market independents to sit on their hands and think that they’ll somehow ride out the multiverse wave. Many modern digital media platforms are agnostic as to who provides content and cheap to work with. Partnerships are to be had in every market. Modern technology has made content creation practically a commodity. Instead of seeing the multiverse as a threat it should be seen as an opportunity.

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