Viacom’s New/Old New Media Strategy


Fortune (via yet another new hire, ex-NYTer Richard Siklos) reports on two of Viacom’s “stealth” social media plays. PaidContent notes this is actually old, not-stealthy news.

Regardless: Viacom is launching Flux, which is apparently a hard-to-describe system “that will eventually allow registered users of,, and any of the MTV’s hundreds of other websites to personalise pages with blogs, video, photos, online friends, and so forth.” Viacom has paid $40 million for a 40% stake in Flux’s designer Social Project, formerly known as TagWorld.

Viacom has also invested in hipster magazine Vice‘s Vice Broadcasting System, which makes Vice-style video projects and is assisting MTV with some of its programming. Viacom doesn’t want to talk about it, presumably for fear of seeming uncool, but the cheeky Vice guys are happy to discuss it.

The take-away: Viacom loves the web! And it’s totally not hung up about not buying MySpace in 2005!

MTV boss Judy McGrath sounds convincing when she says it: “We’re not trying to own a social network, build one, or compete with one. We’re embracing them all.” But her boss Phillipe Dauman needs to work on his Web 2.0 patter, which is a bit awkward:  “This is the company that invented fragmentation in the cable world. In the digital world we’re going to take the fragmentation further. Through Flux and other methods, we’re going to link all those communities together and monetise them.” 

Related: Viacom: Wee Really, Really Like The Web
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