Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman Talks Up Sony Deal
He also has a theory about what is truly "unusual" about this summer's films
Fresh of this morning's announcement that Viacom has licensed its television programming for Sony's forthcoming cloud-based TV service, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman took his bow at the Goldman Sachs 23rd Annual Communacopia Conference in New York.
Dauman was rather tight-lipped about Sony's coming service beyond reiterating the earlier announced details that subscribers would get live and on-demand access to 22 of Viacom's networks including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. He wouldn't say when it would launch or at what price point.
Nevertheless, he dropped a few hints about what's to come.
He said there will be other content partners signing up — not surprising, but given his confidence, those announcements might be coming soon. He revealed that the platform would be advertising-supported and take advantage of such innovations as dynamic ad insertion. And finally, he described what he's seen as a "really elegant consumer interface."
Otherwise, Dauman said he'd leave it to Sony to roll out. Still, he's optimistic.
"We talk about this category of virtual MVPD with Sony being the first to launch," he says. "It is another exciting delivery service which will give consumers more of what they want."
Dauman believes that Sony's experience with the Playstation is important given that younger consumers gravitating to gaming devices. That's particularly of concern to the Viacom chief since the demographics of his company's networks skew younger. For now, Viacom can pat itself on the back that it is a leader on those younger audiences. "If Fox and Time Warner were to get together, we'd still be number one," he said.
Viacom's chief executive also brought forward his own theory about this summer's box office slump at movie theaters.
"There was only one animation this summer (How to Train Your Dragon 2)," he said. "That's what was unusual about this summer."