Google pulls Paramount exec for content acquisitions

December 20, 2010, 7:42 PM UTC

The role would allow Google to pull in more deals while battling Netflix for rights to distribute content online.

Ducard. Photo Credit:

Paid Content is reporting that Paramount’s Malik Ducard is heading over to Google (GOOG) to help with its content acquisition group.   At Paramount, Ducard’s title was Senior Vice President, Digital Distribution – The Americas.  The description of his role over at Paramount is as follows:

Ducard collaborates with multiple broadband, wireless, hardware and device partners to expand Paramount’s distribution footprint across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America.

Whether or not pulling executives from companies they wish to woo is a good strategy for Google has yet to be determined.

So what’s the plan?

The likeliest scenario is that Ducard will be charged with bringing in content for YouTube and/or Google TV from the studio operations he knows well, having four years under his belt at Paramount, which were preceded by stints in the home video departments at MGM and Lionsgate (LGF).

At Paramount, he oversaw distribution of films to digital platforms including iTunes, XBox, Netflix (NFLX) and cable operators. He even managed to swing deals to have the likes of “Iron Man” and “Star Trek” come preloaded on Dell PCs and Seagate hard drives.

YouTube’s blog announced that Google had hired content acquisition guru Robert Kyncl from Netflix in September so Ducard would likely be joining that group if acquisitions are what Google is after.

Other possible roles for Ducard include intermediary between the studios and Google on getting content available for GoogleTV.  GoogleTV has been blocked by all four major broadcast networks and is having problems finding interesting content for its viewers.

Google announced the acquisition of Widevine earlier this month and is rumored to be in negotiations with Next Wave Networks, a content distribution network.

Paramount, of course, is owned by Viacom(VIA) which is currently going after Google for alleged copyright violations in its YouTube division.