Viacom targets operators with brand licensing offering


Owner of MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central also offering OTT apps, which launch in Germany next month

MTV owner Viacom is looking for mobile operators to partner with as part of a brand licensing agreement model it already operates in Germany, Romania and Switzerland.

The TV content provider works with Telefonica in German, Sunrise in Switzerland Deutsche Telekom in Romania where the operators provide mobile tariffs under the MTV brand. It is now hoping to operate a similar model in the UK.

According to Viacom senior VP of mobile brand licensing Oliver Nitz, the TV provider wants to find partnerships with UK operators to license its MTV and Nickelodeon brand. Tariffs under MTV would be aimed at teenagers, with the latter brand aimed at kids.

“The UK is a very appealing market but so far we’ve not had any operators who have wanted to take up one of our brands,” Nitz said. “We have very strong brands with MTV and Nickelodeon and feel the added content could be really appealing to younger consumers.”

In Germany, Telefonica’s MTV tariff gives its users access to all of MTV’s back catalogue of TV and music, which includes more than 1,500 hours of popular MTV shows.

In the UK, MTV and Nickelodeon are both available on TV through Sky, and on mobile’s through the Sky Go app, but Viacom has also launched its own over-the-top service called MTV Trax.

Trax is a mobile app that offers ‘play-as-you-go’ digital music service and is aimed at the pre-paid market.

According to research from Viacom, more than two-fifths of 16 to 24-year-olds regularly watch TV on a smartphone, with mobile as the preferred listening device for 11 per cent of people in that age group.

The services will be available in Germany, Switzerland and Romania from March 5 and free on those taking up MTV Mobile branded tariffs. Alternatively, people in those countries can access the content directly for €2.99 per month, or €29.99 a year.