Nickelodeon will launch a direct-to-consumer subscription service in March in the company’s continuing effort to reach viewers on digital platforms.
“We believe this innovative service, which will have a distinct brand and will target the fast-growing mobile market, will be very attractive for parents and children,” said Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman during an earnings call on Thursday.
More details were not available at press time, but Dauman said the brand name of the service and details about its functionality will be revealed at Nickelodeon’s upfronts presentation next month, where the network will unveil its programming to advertisers.
Viacom, which the parent company of kid-focused networks Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick and Nicktoons, as well as adult media companies like MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, BET and Channel 5 in the U.K., is actively pursuing digital and OTT providers to distribute programming on those networks.
“New digital entrants are providing expansion opportunities, as well as sparking industry-wide innovation,” Dauman told investors. “In the first quarter we renewed and expanded our agreement with Hulu. This month Epix signed a multi-year renewal with Amazon, and we are looking forward to the launch of Sony’s digital service in the coming months.”
In the kids media playground specifically, Nickelodeon already has several different initiatives aimed at reaching audiences at digital touchpoints, including the Nick App, and VOD platform My Nick Junior. As well, the free streaming-enabled Nick Jr. App for iPads launched in December with short-form content and channel simulcast capabilities/VOD episodes both made available through the subscription cable TV Everywhere initiative.
The standalone service announced Thursday would be unique for Nickelodeon in that it will presumably bypass the need for a cable subscription.
According to Viacom’s Q1 financial statement, revenues among its media networks increased 4% to $2.65 billion due to higher affiliate fees and advertising revenues.