VIACOM

ROBERT BAKISH

President/CEO, Viacom International Media Networks

Robert Bakish is responsible for ­Viacom’s media networks, including MTV and BET, outside the United States. Besides setting up owned-and-operated MTV networks in Brazil and Russia in October—outlets there were previously licensed—MTV looks to expand the multiplatform efforts it has initiated around major events like its European Music Awards. “MTV Hottest,” primarily a U.K. event, connected Twitter, the network and its website, bringing in 120 million fan votes to determine the year’s most popular act. (One Direction won.) Such contests, Bakish says, “will broaden geographically on a country-by-country basis” in the coming years. With more than 60 MTV channels, multiplatform efforts that attract sponsorship dollars (and allow them to monetize Twitter efforts) will continue, especially with programming and contests that lead up to major events. The EMAs, held last year in Amsterdam, pulled in 320 million votes for its online contest, a spike of 75% from 2012, Bakish says. During the event, the EMAs were responsible for 34 worldwide trending topics on Twitter. This year’s awards are set for Glasgow, Scotland. “The digital component of consumer consumption [of events] both creates incremental consumption and fuels traditional consumption,” Bakish says. “That’s an important part of our strategy that we intend to hone in [on] and improve.” —Phil Gallo