CBS, which just recently swallowed up CNet for a cool $1.8 billion, is still on the prowl. That’s according to Mike Marquez, the head of mergers and acquisitions and business development for CBS Interactive. “We still are very active on the acquisition front,” said Mike, who stopped by the Vator studio in San Francisco for this interview, and to be our guest host in our upcoming Vator Box show. He and Quincy Smith, the President of the online division for CBS, are always looking for ways to “accelerate growth through external actions,” he said.
So, what is he looking for? In this interview, Mike seemed to emphasize "video” a lot. Is that video search, video ad networks, user-generated or produced video content? I asked? You'll have to watch to hear what he had to say. One tidbit I'll share in text is that CBS Interactive, according to Mike, is more inclined to buy properties that create professionally-produced video content rather than user-generated video. Beyond video properties or technologies, Mike said they're interested in mobile and "local" plays as well as analytics. Additionally, Mike says CBS prefers ad-supported businesses versus subscription, though they're open to looking at both. He then talks about the metrics that CBS considers in acquisitions. Mike mentioned metrics, like engagement - an interesting response that underscores the trend toward putting a higher value on active users rather than a bunch of passive ones. Read my story and watch my interview with Slide founder and CEO Max Levchin, titled: Levchin on self-expression 2.0, and engagement tricks.
Note: In our next interview, to be published later this week, Mike talks about how to approach CBS Interactive if you're interested in one day being acquired by them. He also discusses the rationale behind the CNet purchase. Finally, don't forget to stay tuned to our newsroom for Vator Box, in which Mike joins Ezra Roizen and me in discussing Mozes, Disqus, Trusted Opinion and Rubicon Project. Click here for previous Vator Box and Vator shows.