Viacom makes content commitment as revenues slide

161008_1040_dauman_finalbiggestPhilippe Dauman has said investing in new original content across TV, film and digital is the company’s key strategic priority.

The Viacom chief was speaking in the wake of the latest quarterly results, which saw a decline in the media giant’s revenues and profits.

First and foremost, we continue to make substantial investments in content, specifically original content, long-term imperative that is generating clear results and building long-term value,” Dauman said. “This includes steadily escalating content investments in television and film, as well as short-form mobile content.”

Viacom has had some recent hits with its original programming including the Lip Sync Battle format, Paw Patrol kids show and Bellator MMA fighting championship.

The investment in content has led to increased programming costs, which were up 6% in the quarter, a trend Viacom said will continue.

Viacom also said it was examining its options for carrying its channels and content on streaming and other platforms. It announced a deal with Roku that will see it use viewing data to deliver targeted ads on the platform.

Overall revenues for the quarter to end-March were US$3 billion, a 3% decrease year on year. The channels division of the business, Media Networks, saw revenues slip 3%, taking the total to US$2.4 billion. Ad revenues were in negative territory in the US and internationally.

In separate but related news, Reuters reported that executives Viacom’s sister company CBS have consulted bankers on how CEO Les Moonves can assume greater control over the business in the event Sumner Redstone dies or is no longer able to oversee the business.