Lanzone was previously CEO of Ask.com, where he and most of his team came from and he founded Clicker in January 2009. The Los Angeles-based company was in stealth mode until it's official launched at NewTeeVee Live in November 2009, as the programming guide for this new era of television. Clicker has roughly 2.5 million monthly visitors and catalogs all broadcast programming online, along with TV-quality Web originals and contains more than 1,000,000 episodes, from over 12,000 shows, from over 2,500 networks, 30,000 movies, and 90,000 music videos from 20,000 artists. Just 3 months after it launched in February 2010 Clicker raised $11 million to build out its revenue model for lead generation. Earlier this year Mashable named Clicker one of eight top tech companies to watch in 2011. Terms of the CBS Clicker deal were not disclosed but Techcrunch noted several sources that put the deal somewhere between $50 to $100 million. Other sources cited the deal only in the tens of millions range.
On the Clicker blog Lanzone wrote:
"It’s been an amazing 2+ years, first in stealth as we built the product that would become Clicker, and then the past 15 months or so after we launched to the public. Clicker has built a peerless navigation and discovery experience for online programming, from core search to our proprietary recommendation engine to our social integration with Facebook. As we look to the future, CBS has the kind of platform that can take Clicker to the next level as we look to create a lasting, meaningful brand and destination."
"Jim is a dynamic, creative executive who knows the interactive space and its key players. In just over a year, Jim has created one of the leading navigation and discovery tools for video programming on the Internet. Clicker's products and proprietary technologies add firepower to our existing portfolio of entertainment properties, and if we can help grow Clicker to its full potential in the years ahead, the strategic value could be tremendous."On paidContent.org David Kaplan noted:
"In making the acquisition, CBS Interactive highlighted Clicker’s recommendation engine, Clicker Predict, and its social integration with Facebook, which claims that it offers 2.5 million monthly users an “instantly personalized guide to what’s worth watching online.” Clearly, CBS will hope to leverage that to get some more views for its online video, which still remains outside of rival broadcaster-backed Hulu’s system."While on ReadwriteWeb Marshall Kirkpatrick called Clicker.com, a Giant Waste of Time and was both supportive and skeptical of Lanzone:
"I'm sure he's a very capable executive and here's the supportive way to articulate the significance of the news: a respected internet leader will now be charged with helping move into a new, unknown and disruptive technology economy a large, century old institution, rich with accumulated history and talent for creating high-production content that speaks to hundreds of millions of people. A less charitable take on the news: A man who helped bring the cultural sedative of mainstream TV to the glorious frontier of the Internet will now be in charge of extending that winning recipe of shimmering vacuousness made web-friendly to a much larger audience."
I spoke with Lanzone last year to hear about how Clicker got started cataloging what's on online, how the website works, what actually is Clicker's revenue model and, his general thoughts on the online video and Internet television space. I've republished my interview with him from Streaming Media East 2010 below.
Also, in related news, earlier this week Rovi acquired Slidereel and launched AllRovi.com, a YouTube-like video and music site now in beta that uses a search and recommendation technology in a similar way as Clicker. Based on their activity on AllRovi.com users can receive customized recommendations, find favorites, review ratings and make new discoveries based on their entertainment preferences. Read more on: Vator.tv - Executive brief: Battle for the online remote.
About CBS Interactive
CBS Interactive is the premier online content network for information and entertainment. Its brands dive deep into the things people care most about across news, sports, entertainment, technology and business. Leading properties include CNET, CBS.com, Gamespot.com, CBSSports.com, BNet, CBSNews.com, TV.com and much more. With hundreds of millions of unique visitors from around the world each month, CBS Interactive is a global top 10 web property and the largest premium content network online.
- Clicker Joins CBS Interactive! – Clicker Blog
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- CBSi Buys Clicker; Lanzone Replaces Ashe As President | paidContent
- Jim Lanzone Named President of CBS Interactive -- NEW YORK, March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/
- Larry Kless' Weblog: Clicker - The Internet TV Guide to What’s On Online
- MediaPost Publications CBS Interactive's Lanzone Searches Digital Futures
- CBS Acquires TV Guide For Online Video Clicker, Jim Lanzone Named President Of CBS Interactive
- Clicker.com, a Giant Waste of Time, Acquired by CBS
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