×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Why Viacom Gave Up Developing Its Own Mobile Video Player

Media conglom using Brightcove to power apps for Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and other channels

Until earlier this year, Viacom had used its own internally developed video player in apps for channels like MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

But in gearing up for TV Everywhere, to make more video content available to pay TV subscribers, the media conglom decided to scrap that effort and instead moved to Brightcove’s player to speed up its time to market, said David Kline, Viacom’s senior VP and chief information officer.

“It was clear we could do this faster (with Brightcove) than if I had to build a team and do it ourselves,” he said.

Viacom, starting in early 2012, began working with Boston-based Brightcove to deliver native app video experiences across multiple device platforms. The Brightcove player features include support for closed-captioning, authentication, audience measurement (integrated with systems from Nielsen, comScore and Adobe) and in-stream advertising.

SEE ALSO: MTV Streams Full Episodes to Xbox

Nick was the first network to launch with Brightcove-powered video app, with an iPad version in February, followed by apps for iPhone and Xbox. Viacom has followed with MTV and Comedy Central (with apps for “Tosh.0” and “CC: Stand-Up”) and plans to expand to Android smartphones and tablets this fall. The apps’ TV Everywhere authentication, provided through Adobe Pass, to let Viacom deliver full eps to subscribers of participating cable and satellite operators.

“The main goal, in a TV Everywhere environment, is to be out there on multiple platforms,” Kline said. If Viacom had to develop the video player internally, the company’s initial mobile apps for video would not have been ready until the end of 2013, he added.

Viacom was later than some of its cable peers in delivering TV Everywhere apps. Kline said the company could have tried to rush out video apps sooner. But “what we didn’t want to have happen is for our fans to say, ‘Wow, this is horrible,'” Kline said. “Our viewers are in an age group where if they don’t like something, they won’t want to come back.”

That said, Viacom launched the Nick iPad “prematurely,” Kline said. “We thought we could correct the bugs in it quickly, but unfortunately we couldn’t… It just wasn’t ready to go.” Viacom’s team fixed the glitches, which among other things caused the app to slow down, within two months.

Brightcove, founded in 2004, has more than 6,300 customers, including AMC, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Showtime Networks and Warner Music Group.

“The good news for us is that the technical fragmentation means we’re in a position to enable our customers to reach any platform,” Brightcove CEO David Mendels said.

More TV

  • Grime Star Stormzy Joins Upcoming BBC

    Grime Star Stormzy Joins Roc Nation Exec Produced BBC Drama ‘Noughts & Crosses’

    “Noughts and Crosses” just added another musical heavy hitter with grime supremo Stormzy set to star in the adaptation of the Malorie Blackman novels for the BBC. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation is already on board and will exec produce, as will Participant Media. Stormzy has an on-screen role and will play Kolawale, a newspaper editor and [...]

  • Cineflix Alum Launches New Banner Fugitive,

    Cineflix Alum Launches New Banner Fugitive, Tees Up Alex Gibney, Yolanda Ramke Shows

    Anthony Kimble, formerly of Cineflix, National Geographic, and Viacom’s Channel 5, has launched Fugitive and will develop, finance, and exec produce drama and unscripted TV through the new banner. Its first projects include “Uncanny Valley: The Truth About Thinking Machines,” which comes from producers Topic and Jigsaw. A series about A.I. and the future of [...]

  • Cineflix Rights Scoops Icelandic Political Series

    Cineflix Rights Scoops Icelandic Political Series 'The Minister'

    Cineflix Rights, a leading U.K. content distributor, has acquired “The Minister,” the anticipated political drama series headlined by Icelandic star Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”). Produced by the Icelandic company Sagafilm, “The Minister” centres on Benedikt Ríkhardsson (Ólafsson), a populist politician who becomes Iceland’s Prime Minister. However, Benedikt is suffering from [...]

  • WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make

    WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make Deals if Agents are Fired

    The Writers Guild of America has authorized managers and lawyers to negotiate deals for writers in place of agents — if the guild tells members to fire their agents on April 7. The guild’s negotiating committee notified members of the plans in a message Wednesday. The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents having made [...]

  • Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna'Jane

    Rachel Bloom on the 'Beautiful Mystery' of the 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Series Finale

    While four seasons of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” have explored musical genres from boy bands to country, the one type of music series co-creator and star Rachel Bloom admits the show will not explore before the end is Rebecca’s own style. “Basically the idea is that part of the music in her mind is her looking inside [...]

  • Netflix's Lisa Nishimura Named Indie Film,

    Netflix's Lisa Nishimura Named Indie Film, Documentary Features Head

    In the wake of Bela Bajaria’s recent move to lead Netflix’s international non-English original TV series, the online streamer is shuffling its leadership team to more clearly distinguish between development of its English and non-English language content. As a result, Netflix has elevated Lisa Nishimura to vice president of independent film and documentary features, a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content