Sony to sign a deal with Viacom for its cloud-based TV service

Sony strikes deal with Viacom

Sony announced the service early this year at the CES promising a combination of live television, on demand and DVR. But no cloud without good content and good content is rather difficult to obtain. So where others have failed (Intel, Google) or are still working on it (no news about the Apple TV yesterday), Sony seems to have found a way to do business by striking a deal with Viacom. Sony will be allowed to distribute 22 of the Viacom channels over the internet, including popular channels like Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon.

Although it looks like a breakthrough, the only new thing here is the ability to access traditional lineair channels over IP and therefore on other devices than the TV set and the (technical) possibility to sell contracts anywhere in the world. However, it still will be (mostly) linear TV and Sony might encounter problems in countries where these Viacom channels are already being distributed by traditional cable companies.

Furthermore, one of the biggest reasons Netflix is so extremely popular has to do with the fact that they provide on demand content only. Somehow people seem to like this, so it has to be seen if the new Sony service is something that will attract the coach potatoes attention.

“Sony close to a streaming deal with Viacom”

Sony Internet TV

Sony has been experimenting with streaming & on demand video / TV with their Google TV set-top box, the Sony NSZ-GS7 (discontinued) and its successor the Sony NSZ-G8 as well as a on demand library that is available through their PlayStation gaming console. However, that did not stop them thinking about future developments. Today, the Wall Street Journal brings the news that Sony is close to a deal with Viacom allowing them to stream all the Viacom content like Comedy Central, MTV, BET, CMT, VH1, Nickelodeon and Spike trough their own Bravia and PlayStation platforms and maybe even their Xperia Smartphones and eReaders.

Since Sony is rumoured to be negotiating deals with Walt Disney Co., Time Warner Inc. and CBS Corp as well, this could the want to create a serious competitor of Amazon, Google and Apple on the one hand and Netflix and the like on the other.

Showing content from NBC and Viacom, a new move into the world of TV for Twitter?

Twitter NBC

This morning, Bloomberg reported that Twitter is close to a partnership with both Viacom and NBC. The idea would be to include high quality video from these broadcasters into the twitter stream. To some people this might make sense. Twitter is experimenting with video through its service Vine, they appointed Fred Graver Head of TV and took over Bluefin. However, a deal with NBC, Viacom or any other production or broadcast company would not work in that way I think. Current formats are not fit for inclusion. It is for a reason that Vine offers 6 second clips. No-one is going to watch a full episode of a series using Twitter. Sure, they can create 6 second trailers and promos, but there is no need for a partnership to do so and I don’t think it makes sense to add promoted content around  such a video. That is like an around an ad.

If there is going to be deal between these company, I would suggest it would work the other way. Twitter is the main channel for conversation about TV shows. If Viacom and NBC want to profit from that, they need to find a way to make it very easy to do so around their content. Because that is what people want and that is what people do already. Trying to move people to Twitter and watch a show there would not make any sense. Or Twitter is developing a separate platform. Now that would be really interesting news.

 

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