Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

CBS Says No One’s Getting Anything Done at Work: March Madness Web Traffic Up 56 Percent

march-madness-cbsI’ve only watched a couple minutes of March Madness so far, and I haven’t watched a second on my laptop. But apparently I’m in the minority: CBS, which is streaming the entire college basketball tournament for free on the Web, says traffic to its video player is up 56 percent compared to last year.

CBS (CBS) says it logged more than 2.7 million uniques to the player in the first day of tournament; last year it logged 1.75 million during the same period. And it says it has streamed 2.8 million hours of live video and audio so far, up 65 percent from last year.

Bonus stat for the good people of Comcast (CMCSA), who are sponsoring the player’s “Boss Button”–users have clicked on the defraud-your-employer tool 1.5 million times. Last year’s figure was 2.5 million for the entire tournament. But no stats from CBS on the number of people who have used Microsoft’s (MSFT) Silverlight software to watch the games on HD.

Most important stat for CBS and its advertisers: Television viewing, which is still much more important than any Web metric, was up nine percent for the day. Another vote in favor of the “Web video is additive, not cannibalizing” argument.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik