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Audiences and partnerships driving Viacom’s D2C strategy

Viacom is combing OTT, D2C and traditional distribution models to reach new audiences and drive value for its partners as the company evolves both its partnerships with traditional distributors and OTTs to develop their core brand offerings, according to Dan Fahy, VP Commercial and Content Distribution.

Dan Fahy

Speaking at the Connected TV World Summit in London, Fahy said that the company was investing an enormous amount in major pay partnerships in the form of new content, main screen innovations in 4K and UHD, content windowing with series stacking and previews, OTT services including Sky GO; Now TV and Virgin Media TV everywhere, apps, events such as Slimefest; European Music Awards and Comedy Festival and Marketing & Social encompassing promotional value of key talent and social media expertise.

Led by the key drivers of reaching new audiences and bringing value to their partners, Viacom has been leveraging partnerships with regional broadcasters, OTTs and telcos across its different brands to penetrate new markets and reach new audiences, said Fahy.

Transitioning Viacom’s My 5 brand into a partnership model with regional broadcasters with the likes of Israel’s HOT and A&E Networks has enabled its partners to benefit from My 5’s distribution reach whilst opening their own content to new markets and audiences, Fahy told attendees.

Fahy also said that Viacom was helping its telco partners unlock new broadband tiers and tariffs on mobile subscription services with examples amongst the recently announced new MTV SVOD service through the recently announced distribution partnership with EE as well as Danish mobile subscription service YouSee and Nick Play that launched early last year.

The creation of MTV’s mobile first, D2C proposition that will be distributed through EE, came from deep analysis of a gap in the market for content that catered for a lower age segment that offers an accessible price, caters for a mobile first audience being available only on ios and Andriod phones, whilst providing the full MTV curated experience, he said.

Insight into Viacom’s key audience segments revealed that whilst Gen Y (20s & 30s) were defined as a core MTV audience that have developed habitual relationships and deep attachments to many shows, Gen Z (teens) were currently quite distant from many shows, finding them difficult to relate to. Mid-teens come to MTV through non-linear platforms and often consume non-linear channels, he said.