During NATPE Miami 2021's session, "Serving Streaming Audiences," Allen Media Group's Byron Allen highlighted the effectiveness of showcasing real-life issues through streaming, and Kelly Day offered various examples of how streaming has played a crucial role in the success of Viacom assets around the world.
For its virtual 2021 event, NATPE invited President of Streaming and COO of ViacomCBS Network International, Kelly Day Founder, Chairman & CEO of Allen Media Group/Entertainment Studios Byron Allen to speak during its session, “Serving Streaming Audiences” and highlight the importance of streaming and how it has impacted the entertainment industry.
According to Day, as time passes, the line between linear and streaming assets are becoming more blurry. She notes that streaming has helped retain the audience and appropriately fill the catalog, including non-English offerings. Particularly, its new AVOD service Pluto has proved the effectiveness of streaming around the world, demonstrating success in every market it has launched in, especially Latin America. The conglomerate has several rollouts scheduled this year around the world, starting with Latin America, the Nordics, and Australia. A preexisting service is currently in the works in Canada.
Currently, Viacom is analyzing its slate of originals and opportunities for investment with various studios. The conglomerate is also having conversations with various partners to further expand Paramount plus worldwide and Showtime in the US, with productions currently developing globally, including scripted dramas from its recently purchased Israeli studio and its large production facility in Argentina. Outside of the US, Paramount Plus has acquired and is currently working on output deals for Showtime content, pay-1 movies in various markets as movie studio content, and an entire slate of its own in the US.
Day states that the ecosystem between linear and streaming and how telcos are managing are approached differently in various regions. Though linear assets are still of equal importance, Viacom’s hefty streaming catalog is the main driver of the company’s global growth. The company’s main strategy for 2021 is to offer AVOD services, allow its content to be accessible across all networks, and leverage local partnerships to accomplish as much distribution as people.
Allen noted that streaming is effective in informing audiences, and revealing the severity of issues affecting humanity, such as Global Warming, that they wouldn’t otherwise know about. He also highlighted the importance of Diverse management of networks so that audiences can feel represented. “There's a big difference between owned and targeted. and you have to have a seat at the table,” Allen said.