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Viacom Launching Ad-Supported Streaming Service This Year

Phillip Dampier March 7, 2018 Competition, Consumer News, Online Video No Comments

Viacom is preparing to launch its own direct-to-consumer streaming service later this year that will include more than 10,000 hours of on-demand programming from Viacom’s extensive library of content going back several decades.

Bob Bakish told investors at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco last week that Viacom’s plans to launch a service at least as large as CBS’ All Access Pass began in 2016 when the company quietly started to pull back on licensing its content to third party streaming services to build an attractive menu of options for its own streaming service.

Viacom has extensive media and cable holdings, including Paramount Pictures and Paramount Television, which has been in the television show production business since 1967. Viacom’s cable networks are also household names, including BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, and TV Land. The service is expected to contain a deep catalog of shows from these and other cable networks under the Viacom umbrella.

“It’s going to be significant, and it’s going to also be differentiated from what’s in the marketplace today,” said Viacom chief financial officer Wade Davis, adding that it was only possible because “we kind of built and husbanded [our] library to be able to use for our own strategic purposes.”

Analysts expect the service will include a mobile app and desktop viewing options and will be ad-supported. Similar services generally sell for around $5-6 a month, but Viacom has been purposely vague about the exact terms and pricing of the service.

The news did not seem to interest investors as much as recent developments about a possible merger between Viacom and CBS, which theoretically could mean a merger of the future Viacom streaming service into the CBS All Access Pass.







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