Viacom Expands Direct-to-Consumer Offering with International Launch of BET Play
Streaming app makes BET available on demand via smartphone and tablet to fans of black culture in 100 countries
SINGAPORE, 23 JUNE 2016 – Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) today announced the launch of BET Play, Viacom’s first-ever direct-to-consumer, subscription video on demand (SVOD) application for the adult audience, giving fans in 100 countries direct mobile access to BET’s signature award shows, current and classic television series, documentaries, standup comedy, entertainment news and legendary musical performances.
BET Play offers fans an opportunity to watch English-language BET content on their iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as AirPlay-enabled television sets.
The launch of the BET Play streaming app is timed to coincide with this year’s star-studded 2016 BET Awards, Red Carpet and after show featuring spectacular performances, must-see moments, outstanding talent, and exquisite music. This year’s broadcast promises to be one of the best yet, with returning hosts Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, already-announced performances by Alicia Keys, Maxwell and more, and a moving tribute to legendary musician Prince featuring performances by Sheila E., The Roots, D’Angelo and Janelle Monae.
“The launch of BET Play significantly expands the brand’s geographic availability by making it available direct to consumer in many markets where it has not previously had an established presence on TV,” said Michael D. Armstrong, Executive Vice President and General Manager, International Brand Development, Viacom International Media Networks.
With an innovative, intuitive design and a user-friendly, video-first interface, BET Play offers hundreds of current long form episodes from sixteen global franchises, including Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union, Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart, Chasing Destinystarring Kelly Rowland, Zoe Ever After starring Brandy Norwood, and classic interviews from 106 & PARK, in addition to digital-first short-form original series such as #BLX, quick clips, musical performances, and more. BET Play is also the only place to watch live streams of BET’s tent-pole events and awards shows, including the BET Awards (27 June at 8am Singapore time), BET Hip Hop Awards and the Soul Train Awards. The BET Play app also features a live linear feed of BET Soul, the premiere destination and leading music source for all soul music including: R&B, Neo Soul, Alternative Soul, Classic Soul, relative Hip Hop, and Caribbean music.
BET Play reaches an international audience where they live – smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices – and creates a tailored experience perfect for their each of these screens.
“For people around the world who love Black culture, BET Play will enable fans to access our content when and where they want it,” said Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks.
BET Play is the latest addition to the Viacom Play Plex suite of mobile TV apps, which offer smartphone and tablet users around the world access to the best content from all of Viacom’s international TV brands, anytime and anywhere.
First launched in the fourth quarter of 2015, the Viacom Play Plex apps are available to launch in every one of the 180 international territories in which Viacom owns and operates TV channels. There are separate mobile Play apps for each of Viacom’s major international TV channel brands – Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Paramount Channel, Spike and BET – offering video-on-demand access to a range of current and library content, with an option to include a live, local linear stream of relevant channel, and other content including games for Nick Play.
To date, Play Plex apps are available in more than 40 markets, have been downloaded more than 8 million times and streamed 150 million times.
“We’ve seen incredible interest in, and uptake of, our Play Plex suite of apps, which have completely exceeded our expectations,” said Bob Bakish, President and CEO, Viacom International Media Networks. “These products give our audiences the content they want, how they want it, and offer VIMN the flexibility to adapt to a particular market, partner or brand’s needs.”
BET Play is available now for download on iOS and Android devices for a subscription fee of US$3.99 a month*. Beginning today, fans signing up for the service can experience BET Play with a seven-day trial free of charge.