ViacomCBS: A Content King in the Streaming War - [Business Breakdowns, EP. 44]

01.26.2022 - By Business Breakdowns

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This is Jesse Pujji and today we are breaking down ViacomCBS. This episode has a different format - you'll hear from both an investor and from company management.   Chris Marangi from Gabelli Asset Management starts us off with a history of ViacomCBS. He goes deep into the dynamics of content creation, curation, and distribution, hitting home the value of IP. Then he helps break down how ViacomCBS is transitioning from a shrinking linear business to a growing streaming business.   Next, I sit down with the CFO of ViacomCBS, Naveen Chopra. He shares his views on the business today, how he thinks about capital allocation, and how streaming will evolve for ViacomCBS. Please enjoy this Business Breakdown.   For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   -----   This episode is brought to you by Tegus. We created Business Breakdowns to uncover the lessons and frameworks behind every business, and that's what makes Tegus our perfect launch partner. Much of the foundational prep for these episodes starts with research on the Tegus platform.   With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 20,000 calls on Coinbase, Hinge Health, Farfetch, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. If you're ready to go deeper on any company and you appreciate the value of primary research, head to for a free trial.   -----   This episode is brought to you by Quartr. With Quartr, you can access conference calls, investor presentations, transcripts, and earnings reports – straight from your pocket. Quartr is 100% free and includes companies from 12 markets including the US, the UK, Canada, India, and all the Scandanavian countries. Quartr is available for both iOS and Android, so check out the app today.   -----   Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss Show Notes - Pt 1 with Chris Marangi [00:03:31] - [First question] - What is ViacomCBS [00:04:10] - What a typical media conglomerate looks like [00:06:45] - The scale and size of ViacomCBS today  [00:09:03] - Starting as a radio business and becoming a diversified conglomerate [00:11:25] - What the competitive landscape looked like fifteen years ago  [00:14:07] - Economics of a typical cable network channel like ESPN or MTV [00:16:23] - Key differentiators between a good and a bad channel revenue-wise [00:17:22] - The important roles movies play and how the film industry works writ large [00:18:12] - Durable competitive advantages in producing strong content  [00:19:26] - How much of their market cap is their catalog [00:20:04] - Adopting a streaming model and the impact of this inflection point [00:24:33] - Thoughts on customer acquisition in movies and streaming services [00:25:33] - What has to go right for their market cap to double in the next decade [00:27:55] - What will have gone wrong if they don’t grow over the next decade [00:28:26] - Lessons for entrepreneurs and investors when studying ViacomCBS’s story [00:29:33] - Learn more about ViacomCBS and the cable industry; Cable Cowboy   Pt 2 with Naveen Chopra [00:30:27] - [First question] - Overview of the different businesses within ViacomCBS [00:34:07] - Size of the broadcast arm of ViacomCBS’s business and the costs of running it [00:37:23] - How wide the range of content expenses can be  [00:39:35] - Thoughts on making movies and the business model pre-pandemic [00:42:47] - Is the box office opening night really that important? [00:44:40] - How much box office attendance is down post-pandemic [00:46:19] - Same day releases for streaming and box office can help acquire subscribers [00:51:45] - Leveraging intellectual property to generate revenue [00:53:23] - How much Netflix invests in content compared to ViacomCBS and competitors [00:54:11] - Thoughts on the business model for streaming service revenue [00:58:01] - Scaling Paramount+ to compete and compensate for pandemic impacts [01:02:16] - What he’s most excited about for ViacomCBS and Paramount+ looking forward [01:05:07] - Why speed is important and what keeps him up at night [01:06:00] - Things in the macro-environment that could be good and bad for ViacomCBS [01:07:54] - Lessons for entrepreneurs and investors when studying ViacomCBS’s story

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