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Vivendi ‘to create new content unit’

Vivendi is creating a new content unit to be headed by Canal+ CEO Rodolphe Belmer, who will take on new responsibilities at the pay TV operator’s parent company in addition to his existing role, according to an internal email obtained by French news service BFM TV.

According to the email, circulated to Vivendi staff on January 12, Vivendi Contents will be charged with conceiving and developing new content formats across both music and video, and guiding investment in these.

Belmer will take on, in addition to his role at Canal+, responsibilities spanning production arm StudioCanal, music group UMG and all content creation subsidiary units.

In the email, Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré outlined four priority areas for the company: future content development, data and monetization, Africa, and cooperation and projects.

The email called for Vivendi’s subsidiary heads to work together to put in place a team able to manage talent across all areas with a view to creating “monetisable content” on the model of Universal Music and Canal+.

It also called, among other things, for the creation a legal office specialising in rights and a team charged with managing talent for the duration of their contracts on the model of talent agencies, the creation of a group of brand and marketing specialists “capable of defining the DNA of talent” and identifying partnerships that could be associated with Vivendi brands and monetising those brands on the model of Havas, and a team with expertise in data mining.

A new committee will meet each Tuesday to monitor the company’s progress towards its goals, composed of leading managers involved in the process.

According to BFM TV’s analysis, Belmer’s promotion comes against the background of Canal+ president Bertrand Meheut’s continued presence at the pay TV unit. BFM TV argues that Bolloré has been keen to give Belmer, who expected to succeed Meheut and take overall control of Canal+, a role that will ensure he stays with the company.

In December, Belmer told Le Figaro newspaper that he had no plans to be a candidate to become president of public broadcaster France Télévisions, amid speculation that he could take that role.