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CNET Provides Branded Widgets, But Who Will Use Them?


CNET Networks,  the parent company for,,, GameSpot and several other web destinations, has released a set of widgets for embedding their videos on non-CNET websites.

The widgets are well-designed and currently available for BNET, CHOW,, GameSpot, and Whichever the source, they show some branding, a video clip, a selection of other video clips, and an advertisement. We’ve embedded one from GameSpot below (although they say it can take up to 15 minutes for the widget to start working).

In CNET’s words, these are meant to “offer publishers the opportunity to integrate quality editorial and programming from five CNET Networks brands into their site environments.” Will CNET share revenue from the advertising with participating sites, or pay them for spreading their brand? That doesn’t look like the case, especially since CNET insists that the widgets are meant to “enhance their users’ site experience, increase user engagement, and expand their ability to offer quality video.”

We’ve submitted an inquiry to CNET for more details, but I don’t think they’ve provided enough incentive for publishers to spread these. Perhaps they expect that only publishers with which they have formed customized partnerships will use them.



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