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Media Businesses Television Entertainment

Viacom To Launch Its Own Streaming Service this Year (techcrunch.com) 64

Viacom said today it's planning to launch its own ad-supported streaming service by September 2018, the end of its fiscal year. The service will include "tens of thousands of hours of content" from across Viacom's library. From a report: Viacom had hinted about its plans in streaming before, but it shared a few more details on the call about what the service will include. The company, which owns cable TV channels like MTV and Comedy Central, already licenses some of its content to other streaming services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now, as well as newcomer Philo. "It's going to be rolled out in the U.S., in terms of the amount of content that it's going to have, it's going to have tens of thousands of hours of content that cut across the library we have on a global basis," the company said.

Viacom To Launch Its Own Streaming Service this Year

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  • by AlanBDee ( 2261976 ) on Friday February 09, 2018 @02:05PM (#56096455)

    We asked for a la-carte and this is what it looks like. I just hope they offer a commercial-free version I can pay for, any amount will do. Just don't make me sit through commercials. If not, would it kill them to add a small algorithm that if it's already shown a commercial once, don't show it again for like 24 hours. I hate commercials enough, but if they make me watch the same stupid commercial multiple times then I tend to turn it off instead.

    On a side note, my 5-year old was at grandma's house and saw a commercial. She had no idea what it was. I was so proud.

    • We asked for a la-carte and this is what it looks like.

      A la carte was what we asked for when television was on a schedule. This is just bundling of a different sort. Instead of getting one channel, we're getting an entire production company's back-catalog with a price that reflects that. The goalpost for a la carte has moved for streaming. Let me pay $0.50/episode for each and every TV episode I watch (less for older shows) and networks will make more money per hour of programming viewed and I will get a better value for my money. Right now, the only strea

    • Honestly, I think the a la-carte model is significantly better even if it is more expensive. It leads to better quality entertainment. Before streaming started to take off we had 900 channels of bottom-of-the-barrel-reality TV - now we have dozens of quality sci-fi and fantasy shows. Look at StarTrek Discovery as a prime example: it was utter shit, and if cable were the only option it would either stay on the air continuing as normal or taken as a sign that people just don't want sci-fi, so we'd get 100
      • by Anonymous Coward

        $200 a MONTH or year? I don't even know how you can get to $100, let alone more. Plus, what is the point at that price? Just buy everything on BluRay/DVD and then you OWN it rather than renting it.

        You people are insane.

      • My idea of a la carte was to still get the media delivered by the cable company but pick and choose what channels I would pay for. One point of payment.

        I have zero intention of managing multiple subscriptions.
        • My idea of a la carte was to still get the media delivered by the cable company

          Well, it would have been nice. The cable companies had decades to offer this sort of service, and never did, because they have no real competition. A company in a near-monopoly position is never going to be responsive to customers' wishes.

          While the current situation isn't ideal, it's at least better to have some actual competition in this space. I subscribe to a few different streaming services, and still pay far less per month than basic cable. Annoying, sure, but I get more content than I'm actually i

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Honestly, I think the a la-carte model is significantly better even if it is more expensive. It leads to better quality entertainment. Before streaming started to take off we had 900 channels of bottom-of-the-barrel-reality TV - now we have dozens of quality sci-fi and fantasy shows. Look at StarTrek Discovery as a prime example: it was utter shit, and if cable were the only option it would either stay on the air continuing as normal or taken as a sign that people just don't want sci-fi, so we'd get 100 new

        • by torkus ( 1133985 )

          So basically you're saying that channels that almost no one watches or cares about should continue to get money they don't deserve or own at the expense of other programming?

          At what point do we say: hey that's higher-quality crap than they'd be able to produce on their own and still just about no one watches it...maybe we should stop wasting money?

          • At what point do we say: hey that's higher-quality crap than they'd be able to produce on their own and still just about no one watches it...maybe we should stop wasting money?

            Discovery and History channels are continuing education for adults. Rather than taxing the nation to pay for it, we simplify by bundling it with other channels and charging subscribers more. Since cutting the cord, those two are the only channels I miss.

            • Discovery and History haven't been about education since the 90s, they're reality TV. PBS is one you might call continuing education, but they post all their good stuff for free on YouTube (e.g. SpaceTime and Infinite Series.)
          • So basically you're saying that channels that almost no one watches or cares about should continue to get money they don't deserve or own at the expense of other programming?

            Honestly those 99% crap shows are likely welfare for liberals in Hollywood.

        • But with the a la carte option, that specialy subchannel now needs eyeballs because the few subscribers it does get isn't enough for the programming it offers. The only way it can survive is to get more eyeballs and the only way to do that is to get more programming that appeals to the masses. This means more crap coming out because the programming the old eyeballs wants has to be replaced with the programming the masses of eyeballs want so they keep their money.

          Netflix doesn't care about eyeballs, it cares about subscribers, so all it needs to do is produce programming that its subscribers want.

          In one statement you insists all the programming is going to be crap because all the specialty stuff won't be subsidized but in another you give an example of Netflix not doing that. I will argue that we will have a wider variety of specialty content because the variety will bring in more subscribers. As you point out, it doesn't matter how many people watch it. What matters is how many subscribers does it bring in? If you want to increase subscribers then increase the variety of content that's available an

        • No, a la carte leads to LESS quality television and MORE appeal to the masses.

          You can say that all you want but it is objectively false because since it started the quality has gone up. You get shit when you have monopolies because they have no incentive to compete, just like before cable went to absolute shit with 99% reality TV (Hell, for years the best thing on any network was from the fucking BBC, when the filthy shit eating Brits do it better you know there's an issue.) Right now we have a bunch of relatively small networks trying to take over and become a monopoly, competitio

    • My kids get annoyed enough by the PBS promos for other shows. Real commercials confuse them, unless they are movie trailers, which they find mesmerizing.
    • by mentil ( 1748130 )

      One man's a la carte is another man's Balkanization.

  • Peak Streaming ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, 2018 @02:11PM (#56096491)

    Every goddamned company wants to have a streaming service.

    They're all giddy at the prospect of on-going revenue from a subscription model.

    Know what? Fuck 'em.

    I'm not signing up for every asshole's streaming service, and I'm tired of the subscription model bullshit.

    I have my NetFlix, and I've pretty much decided if it isn't on that, I'll live without it entirely.

    I'm not a revenue stream to every asshole of a CEO who thinks I should be, and I'm more than happy to do without your shit.

    I'm sick and tired of this shit, every media company thinks they're going to run their streaming service, and I'm completely over it. I'll buy the movies I want on DVD/Blu Ray and watch them whenever I want, I'll stream what I can from Netflix, and the rest simply doesn't matter to me any more.

    • Killing the golden goose is what they are doing, no one wants to subscribe to tons of separate services....

      • by Falos ( 2905315 )

        There's some game theory or another going on, tragedy of the common prisoner's whatever. They don't give a flying fuck about what it does to the big picture, about any effects outside Ye Bottom Line, not after centuries of "I've got mine" being rule number one.

        No one actually cares about the consumer (looking at you, apple fanboy) as anything more than an obstacle to pacify. Normally the distinction isn't too important, eg entertainers will work hard to make their entertainment entertaining "for us". But in

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          No one actually cares about the consumer (looking at you, apple fanboy)

          Netflix cares, or used to care about the consumer, because they had to.
          But now they're not just a content delivery service, they're a content creation service as well. The content creators/owners should not be in charge of the streaming services because they have conflict of interest with their own customers. Content companies SHOULD license their content to any streaming service for a reasonable price, but they don't. Even Netflix won't do that anymore because they're trying to drive their subscriptions to

    • by Optic7 ( 688717 )

      You could also rent DVDs/BluRays either from Netflix or from a local video store. We went with the local video store because we used to keep the Netflix DVDs forever, so we were effectively paying like $10 per rental or something like that. We're really lucky to still have a good DVD rental store nearby. It also feels good to support a local small business rather than megacorp inc.

    • by harrkev ( 623093 )

      You are against streaming services, but you love Netflix? Yeah, that makes sense.

      This is how things are likely going to work for me. When I get tired of Netflix, then I will cancel, and then get Hulu for a few months (hello, Robot Chicken). Once I watch everything that Hulu offers that I want to see, I will switch services again to the next thing. When I have gone through the entire list of providers, I will go back to Netflix and start the list again, picking up the new things since I last had them. I

    • by torkus ( 1133985 )

      Well netflix just bumped up their price by 40% ... technically it's now the 'option' for 2 screens and HD content while the existing $8/month now just gets you standard definition and one screen but it's the old bait and switch for sure.

      And while Netflix is pouring money into building out their own shows and movies since they learned hard and fast how easy it is to have their catalog pulled from them...they're missing a lot of what I'd want to watch. No other streaming service has it all either of course..

  • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Friday February 09, 2018 @02:15PM (#56096517) Homepage

    it's going to have, it's going to have tens of thousands of hours of content that cut across the library we have on a global basis

    Every TV production company thinks they can prop up a streaming service with shows from the 80's. Cord cutters aren't going to spend $50/mo. on disparate streaming services. Especially if they are only searchable separately. It's hard enough just to go back and forth between Netflix and Prime and keep track of who has what.

    • Especially if they are only searchable separately. It's hard enough just to go back and forth between Netflix and Prime and keep track of who has what.

      Buy a Roku or an Amazon Firestick. Either can be had for $25 to $30 if you get them on a good sale. They both allow you to search across all your channels.

      • I have a Roku (love it, too). But I usually don't just sit down and do a search. I curate a list/queue when I'm not in the mood to actually watch, so it's ready when I want it. And if I want to remember what I have available, I still have to go to each app one by one to decide what's next.

        Someone needs to do for subscription streaming services what Ultraviolet did for purchased streams. No matter who you buy it from, you see it all in one place. Roku made searching easier, but they probably can't fix t

        • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

          I have a Roku (love it, too).

          I bought my first Roku about 2 years ago when I was living out of hotel rooms. They only offered shitty basic cable but had decent wifi. It changed the way I watch tv, if you can call what I do watching tv. Our cable box has been unplugged for well over a year. We watch everything through the Roku now.

          Have you ever took a stroll down the "dark" recesses of the channel list? There is some strange and weird shit out there. We found some channel that had some old guy in a silver jump suit waiving arou

    • There's actually a web site that pulls in content from most streaming services and provides links to their web site. I works most the time and when it doesn't at least it helps me search for and find what I want to watch and where it's at. https://www.justwatch.com/us [justwatch.com]

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Multiple channels made sense when you were at the mercy of schedules and just wanted something to watch at any given time. Now evening is on demand you only need one streaming service at a time. Watch everything out has to offer and only then move on to the next service.

      • Now evening is on demand you only need one streaming service at a time. Watch everything out has to offer and only then move on to the next service.

        The catalog doesn't even stay constant from month to month. But even if I'm not at the mercy of the schedules, I may have mood or time constraints. I'd rather be able to choose on a whim. Though I only have Prime for the shipping. The occasional show is just a bonus - it's just that I forget to ever watch the series that I've added to my watchlist.

  • Yet Another Streasming Service.

    That I won't subscribe to.

    With Netflix and Youtube, I already have more interesting content than what I could watch in a lifetime.

    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      With Netflix and Youtube, I already have more interesting content than what I could watch in a lifetime.

      This,exactly. I subscribe to 3 streaming services now, Netflix, Hulu, and Curiosity Stream. With these services, Youtube, and my Plex collection, I don't see myself subscribing to anything else.

      The only reason that I still have my cable service is because I'm under contract. Which will run out next month, then time for trip behind the barn. Besides the only thing I'm now watching on cable is Foxnews. An I don't care how much Sean Hanily thinks the sun shines out his ass he isn't worth 60 bucks a mo

  • Between Netflix DVD service and the local library, I already have far, far more content that I want than I can watch anyway. It's just slower. I can see the appeal maybe for mobile devices but for me it's not worth the cost or hassle to track X number of streaming services.
  • RuPaul's Drag Race is a Viacom property. It's a great show. Imagine Duck Dynasty, except a lot more gay and with singing fabulous songs instead of slaughtering a bunch of water fowl.

    I'm only half-joking.

    • RuPaul's Drag Race is a Viacom property. It's a great show. Imagine Duck Dynasty, except a lot more gay and with singing fabulous songs instead of slaughtering a bunch of water fowl.

      I'm only half-joking.

      Only half joking... because Duck Dynasty features a bunch of bears with cut off sleeves rolling in the mud together.

  • by the time he was done signing up for streaming services to replace cable he saved $10/mo. OTOH about the only TV I watch is anime which costs me $7/month. But I'm a severe nerd so I'm an outlier.
  • Good, I hope they do invest a bunch of money in a streaming service and I hope it fails miserably and they lose a bunch of money. And a few others do this as well.

    Then I hope that all the back catalog content own^H^H^Hhoarders realize they're not actually sitting on a perpetual stream of gold, and that, in fact, their catalog is worth far less than think it is and the smart play is merely to license it out to anyone and everyone who might have some interest in showing it under the guise that more access eq

  • Here is the deal: make ALL the material available, all the time, without constraints, on a per show/movie/documentary/event, etc. basis, at a reasonable cost, with simple, straightforward and convenient mechanisms to accomplish all that, and people will ve onboard big time. Persist in your penchant for creating walled gardens, artificial scarcity, geographic constraints, complicated deals, and unreasonable prices, and you will keep pushing people to resort to torrent downloads. Your call.
    • Here's the deal: give me all your possessions. Now. Unconditionally. At a cost that I feel is reasonable. Say no, and you'll keep pushing me to steal your possessions. Your call.

      Powerful stuff. Really.

      If you don't like the terms under which something is for sale, you don't buy it. In what bizarro universe do you live that if someone doesn't sell something to you at the price you think is reasonable you just take it? Content isn't a God Given right. It's just a product that for sale. It's up to your with you

  • Just what we need. Another streaming servers. At the rate were going every show will have its own streaming service.
  • Then I'm going back to just no TV/movies/etc PERIOD.

    I am NOT going to maintain umpty-fucking-jillion different $5/$10/$15/$20 streaming services.

    Hell the fuck no.

    I would, quite simply, rather do without COMPLETELY.

    Now, I can see having their stuff exclusively on their own network for say the first 6 months after it premiers/leaves theaters. And then cycling stuff in and out of 3rd party availability on a schedule.

    But permanently tying up their content in their own sandbox?

    PASS!

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