Entertainment & Tech Summit

Roku’s Tim Natividad & ViacomCBS’s Domenic DiMeglio: Essential Playbook for Streaming TV Services

Variety New York digital editor Todd Spangler spoke with streaming-TV execs for the Variety Entertainment and Technology Summit in October 2020, presented by City National Bank.

The Essential Playbook for Streaming TV Services discussion featured Roku head of performance advertising Tim Natividad as well as ViacomCBS Digital EVP, head of operations and CMO Domenic DiMeglio as they took a look at the seismic shift of TV viewing currently underway at the various streaming platforms in the market.

After conducting a survey with around 2000 U.S. consumers, Roku found that most Americans now watch more hours of streaming content than they do traditional TV, with the ratio of streaming to linear TV doubling for millennials. This fact spurred DiMeglio to run through his company’s plans for Paramount Plus, the ViacomCBS answer to the streaming wars.

“What we’re doing is, post-merger, really building on the foundation and the success we’ve had building CBS’s service, CBS All Access, over the last six years,” he said. “So we’re focused on broadening that service to be reflective of the entire ViacomCBS family.”

Natividad agreed this is the right move for ViacomCBS to be making. “The rebrand of CBS All Access, as Domenic says, into Paramount Plus… is fitting, because under the ViacomCBS umbrella is a mountain of entertainment with content that ranges all the way from BET to Nickelodeon,” said Natividad.

“If Paramount Plus is that mountain of entertainment then Roku is simply the Sherpa or the guide for the streamer to navigate their way through that mountain,” he continued.

Natividad went on to clarify Roku’s MO. “We’re in a place where 54% of Roku’s streamers don’t know what they want to watch,” he said. “And so increasingly our business has become a performance advertising business so that we can help bring media and entertainment organizations alike the right audience and vice versa.”