Not expected, but extremely interesting, Cisco is showing off a new internet platform at CES. The platform is designed to service the needs of content providers such as record labels and studios that struggle to make their assets pay in the digital age.

Cisco already has Warner Music on board with the project that integrates social networking and other user features on top of a comprehensive content management system.

As an example, a record label could set up sites for each of its artists, while incorporating the same content into a separate digital store or subscription-based site. "It's a hosted software platform enabling media companies to digitise their media assets [and stop] converting analogue dollars into digital pennies" said Dan Scheinman, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Media Solutions Group.

"Media companies have the opportunity to deepen the relationship online audiences have with the entertainment content they love."

Consumer challenge

Cisco reckons one of the major challenges for consumers was how they could discover and access content. "We want to bring people closer to its customers. In a world where you have so many customers, how do you let them find the information they need?"

Why is Cisco doing this? "There's no time better to enter a market than when it's in disruption." Added Scheinman. "We spent two years listening to customers. And what we heard is that media needed a platform."