Viacom recently announced its plan of launching its own ad-supported streaming service by September 2018, the end of its fiscal year. The new service will include content from all its networks from across Viacom’s library including big cable channels such as MTV and Comedy Central, held back from other existing digital services.
Some of Viacom’s contents are already licensed to other streaming services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now, as well as newcomer Philo. Philo is an entertainment-focused, sports-free offering started by the company few months ago and priced lowly than its competitors. It has also withheld a lot from third-parties, which it believes will be a strategic advantage. “It’s going to be rolled out in the U.S., in terms of the amount of content that it’s going to have, it’s going to have tens of thousands of hours of content that cut across the library we have on a global basis. And it’s important to note one of the reasons that we are able to do this is that we’ve chosen to curtail the amount of content that we license into third-party B2C experiences”, said Viacom CFO, Wade Davis.
He also mentioned that the company couldn’t make use of the licensing revenue completely which it could have otherwise pulled in from other subscription video on-demand services. Viacom is now aiming to tap into its larger portfolio to make its content unique from the rest. The company’s brands will span categories like kids and family, music, comedy, African-American, and general entertainment.