The upcoming service doesn’t yet have a name or a release date, but Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman announced it during a conference call. “We believe it will be very attractive to consumers,” he said. “We will announce the name next month.”
By launching a “TV Everywhere” service for Nickelodeon, Viacom will follow the lead of several other companies. CBS has already launched CBSN, an online hub filled with the network’s news coverage, and it plans to launch a streaming service for Showtime as well. Last October, HBO announced its own plans to offer its programming on an online service that will not require a cable TV subscription.
Nickelodeon is well-positioned to offer one of these services, since its relatively young core viewers increasingly look online to find the content they want to watch. Nickelodeon previously experimented with web distribution when it launched the fourth season of The Legend of Korra online before it premiered on TV. The reasoning was simple: Korra‘s TV ratings didn’t match its passionate fanbase, and Nickelodeon figured the best way to reach those fans was to give them the ability to watch episodes on demand.
Many of Viacom’s properties are well-established online. MTV and Comedy Central both offer full episodes of some series on their respective websites, and they each run popular YouTube channels. With its streaming service, Nickelodeon will increase its own ability to appease viewers who are moving away from cable.