Viacom CEO: Amazon Prime Great for Nickelodeon DVD Sales12 Jun, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Viacom’s new streaming deal with Amazon Prime Instant Video should jumpstart sales of Nickelodeon DVDs and related consumer products, CEO Philippe Dauman told CNBC.
In a June 11 interview at The Cable Show in Washington, D.C., Dauman was asked (again) whether Viacom’s SVOD greement with Amazon (at the expense of Netflix) threatens Nickelodeon in particular and the cable business model in general. Dauman said the SVOD licenses are timed based on the lifecycles of specific content.
He said the Amazon deal features last year’s seasons to a variety of programs including “SpongeBob,” and “Blue’s Clues,” among others, which he said will stream a few months before the new seasons air on Nickelodeon.
“It’s great marketing value for us as more people discover our brands. And Amazon is a great environment for our brands,” Dauman said. “If you watch Amazon Prime, you might want to buy a DVD, a SpongeBob toy. It’s a great environment for us.”
He reiterated that the widely reported TV rating decreases at Nickelodeon last year were unrelated to the content availability on Netflix at the time. Indeed, Dauman said Nickelodeon has seen 18 consecutive weeks of year-over-year rating increases this year.
The executive said the recently launched Nickelodeon app is also driving broadcast viewing.
“We have a lot of new hit shows in the pipeline,” he added. “The production pipeline is vibrant. Our ratings are strong. And Nickelodeon is actually a great story.”
Meanwhile, ongoing concerns about households dumping their pay TV service for over-the-top platforms such as Netflix and Hulu remain much ado about nothing, Dauman said.
The CEO agreed that consumers increasingly want to be able to watch their TV content on demand on different devices. At the same time, he said advances in TV Everywhere platforms underscore the value of a bundled pay TV service.
"If you look at all the technological advances and all the great content that exists today and the ability of people to watch that content on multiple screens, there's never been a better time for television," Dauman said.
The executive, whose company also owns Paramount Pictures, among other properties, said there continue to be advances made in offering consumers ubiquitous access to content on tablets and mobile devices.
“I’m very excited about that. But we need to do more,” Dauman said.