updated 02:40 pm EST, Thu February 2, 2012
Viacom may expand on-demand content soon
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman hinted in a discussion of fiscal results that his company was about to sign a significant digital content deal. The agreement was cast as for an online, subscription-based video on demand service and could be made public next week, The Hollywood Reporter understood. Which service, and what content, weren't divulged.
The mention is notable as the two most likely candidates, Hulu and Netflix, already have some of Viacom's content. Apple isn't likely to involve itself with subscription services in the near future, suggesting that Viacom may instead be supplying Amazon Prime with some of its TV shows.
Amazon has been spending much of the past several months building up its video service to help justify the video-centric Kindle Fire. Its catalog still trails well behind that of Netflix, but it has been catching up quickly enough that many expect it to get close this year.
The timing could be a hint of a possible split of Amazon's subscription video away from Prime. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has already suspected a cheap Amazon service was enroute and that Netflix would have to compete based on content more than price.