Philippe Dauman, CEO, Viacom: Want to join my Rock Band?

Philippe Dauman, CEO, Viacom: Want to join my Rock Band?

MIPCOM keynote Philippe Dauman describes Viacom as “unique among the major media companies… a pure play
content company with a ton of great
”. Some of those brands are
well known and distributed
throughout the world, he said, while
“some are teenagers, and some are
infants with a lot of room to grow”.

He added: “Our job at Viacom is to
get MTV, Nickelodeon, and all our
shows, onto every platform
. Today,
with online and mobile and the
ubiquity of gaming devices we now
have new ways of getting content
that hasn’t penetrated internationally,
directly to the consumers.”

One of Viacom’s current hit properties
is Rock Band, the musical
simulation game that Dauman says
“takes Guitar Hero to a whole new
level”. Viacom’s success with Rock
Band followed its acquisition of
Guitar Hero developer Harmonix,
based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
We’re now growing a music
download business connected to
the game that’s approaching one
million downloads a week
,” Dauman
said. “And this all ties in very
well with brands such as MTV and
VH1. Games in general are a logical
extension of our business — we
are the Nº1 player in the US and
Nº2 in the world in the casual
games space, and are putting a lot
of effort behind that.”

Another big multi-platform success
for Viacom is the television property
iCarly. “The show is about a girl and
friend who have an online video
site. And we have a real iCarly site
where viewers can submit their
videos, some of which appear on
the TV show,” Dauman said. “The
lead character is played by Miranda
Cosgrove who is a very talented actress
and singer. She’s launching a
singing career alongside the show,
we’re licensing iCarly consumer
products, and there will be iCarly
casual games too

Dauman said that the fragmentation
of the television
audience across other platforms
is not a problem for
Viacom, but an opportunity
Through iCarly and
other properties the company
is even benefiting
from the UGC phenomenon,
in spite of its much
publicised dispute with YouTube

That’s still in litigation, but the lawsuit
has prompted a change in
the industry in a manner that
is more respectful of copyright
Dauman said.
There is certainly
place for UGC, but people still want
to see well made, professionally-created
content. People still like to
watch movies, for example
. Not
everyone can make them though because
not everyone on the planet is
equal in talent.”

And he sees no signs of the television
audience diminishing
— just changing. “You don’t see
TV viewership going down,” Dauman
said. “There are shifts taking
place, from broadcast to cable for
example, but aggregate TV viewing
has been increasing. Now, for
example, there is even some television
consumption via the
internet in offices, when people
would normally be doing other
things. One thing we must always
remember is that it doesn’t matter
how many devices people may
have, they will always need good
quality content

This exclusive interview & more in the full MIPCOM Preview magazine: here!

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