Feb 13, 2019
By Stuart Winchester
From apps to events to content, how Viacom International Media Networks scours the globe to find what works.
Viacom’s international footprint has exploded across the linear, digital, and experiential spaces over the past decade, providing an advantage outside of sheer scale and market share: the creation of a global business laboratory. This international market is where U.S. concepts can be adapted to local cultures and original ideas can be tested on a small scale.
That was a core theme articulated in an upbeat state-of-VIMN (Viacom International Media Networks) address from VIMN CEO David Lynn and COO Melody Tan, which was live-streamed to a global audience on Tuesday as part of Viacom’s Spark employee engagement summit.
Lynn began by outlining the torrid growth of an entity that, 10 years ago, had no original content, no digital presence, and no complementary businesses outside of consumer products. VIMN now sits in 3 billion households, will produce 8,000 hours of original content this year, has a digital presence that constitutes 20 percent of the division’s distribution revenues, and is moving quickly into adjacent businesses such as theme parks and studio production.
"One of the advantages we have in international is that we’re able to pilot ideas, try new business opportunities in a single territory, and if it works, then we expand."
"When you’re working with a far-flung workforce, it makes it more challenging to make sure we’re aligned in terms of culture and engagement and communication."