LIVE FROM MWC21 BARCELONA: Media heavyweight ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) unveiled its first smartwatch, in partnership with TV company Nickelodeon, a move which the former’s president and CEO Raffaele Annecchino (pictured, right) believes strengthens its position across the connectivity ecosystem.

Annecchino announced the launch of NickWatch during his MWC21 keynote, stating it had been made specifically for the youth market, offering a range of entertainment features which tap into the company’s wide portfolio of media assets.

VCNI said the device would offer children independence and entertainment offerings fuelled by Nickelodeon characters. The underlying technology platform also promoted physical activity and social play, in addition to games, sound effects and music features.

The platform will also allow text, voice calls and maps for parents to track their children.

It will be available to purchase in 2022 and Annecchino described the move as a “milestone” to harness the power of both companies’ respective brands.

“This strategic product launch will leverage our IP and content to further strengthen our position as a leading commercial partner with diverse consumer touchpoints creating a new immersive experience.”

5G crucial
Appearing in a fireside chat alongside GSMA Ltd CEO John Hoffman (pictured, left), Annecchino also spoke about the impact of 5G on the media industry, stating he was excited about the way connectivity would “define the future of entertainment”.

He explained 5G opened up thousands of new opportunities to engage with customers, tapping into immersive action, AR and VR, smart venue production, better interaction with talent and opening up revenue opportunities with partners.

Annecchino highlighted collaborations with telecoms operators, which he explained was increasing as a result of greater streaming activity, describing them as “video aggregators”. Stronger partnerships with the sector was “critical” for Viacom’s business, he added.