Advanced Television

Viacom CEO: content, not platform

October 15, 2008

From Colin Mann in Cannes

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman has identified new media as an area where the company was breaking new ground but stressed that the content had to come first, not the means by which it was distributed. “Our focus is on utilising digital platforms not to replace the TV experience but to extend and deepen it,” he told MIPCOM delegates.

Delivering a keynote speech on creativity in the digital world, Dauman admitted that as Viacom depended on advertising for only a third of its revenue, the downturn would not hit the company as hard as it will other media groups. Its growing investment in consumer products, live events and video gaming would also soften the blow, he said. He identified franchises and brands as the central pillars supporting the company’s business going forward.

“If you centre your slate on your franchises and brands, and you supplement that with films like 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', you have the possibility strategically of building a sound business,” Dauman said. “Controlling distribution allows us to control the destiny of our product.”

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