When CBS purchased CNET in 2008, the website had already established itself as a well-known brand for technology news and reviews. CNET Content Solutions (then known as CNET Channel) was part of the $1.8 billion deal.
Syndication forms only a small part of CNET Content Solutions (CCS) and the company is relatively new to the syndication landscape. While CCS offers sales automation and after-market merchandising, most of the division’s resources are focused on its database, which currently includes content and specifications for more than 6 million technology and consumer electronics products in 18 languages.
Database Powers CNET Syndication
The multilingual nature of the company’s DataSource offerings comes from its 1999 acquisition of GDT for $50 million. Switzerland-based GDT had developed a multi-language database which indexed product images, descriptions, and specs to create “the world’s most complete resource for buyers and sellers of computer and technology products,” Albert de Heer, GDT’s CEO, said at the time of the sale.
CNET employs Russian-based researchers with high-tech backgrounds to enter data from manufacturers to create standardized product specs. This DataSource-fueled content forms the backbone of CNET’s syndication offerings.
Focus on In-House Services
While the majority of CNET content ends up on more than 3,000 blogs and lead generation websites, the company also syndicates product specs to approximately 60 e-commerce sites. Besides offering product specs, CNET videos, and logo services, CCS also creates shopping tools such as product finders and buying guides for Newegg, Insight, and other e-commerce platforms.
Nearly all CCS services are done in-house. The company offers a limited DIY tool for manufacturers that sign up for its PartnerAccess product, which gives them the ability to modify product information in its DataSource database.