Fuse Infuses VOD Content With Trivia

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Fuse on Demand is planning to bring some of the same interactive trivia elements from its linear programming to its video-on-demand content.

The Fuse cable network buries interactive clues inside music videos, providing a call to action for viewers to visit the company’s Web site, answer a trivia question or solve a puzzle.

And those who participate are also eligible for daily and weekly prizes.

The company plans to bring those same trivia elements to VOD programming, but with a twist that will feature viewers going to the local operator’s Web site to answer questions and win prizes.

The setup works on a number of fronts, Fuse executives said: It adds interactivity to VOD, localizes trivia play for the operator, and directs users to the MSO’s high-speed data home portal.

It’s a natural evolution for a company that reaches 38 million homes on the linear side and launched music videos on VOD 18 months ago, executives said.

“We were the first out there with music videos on demand,” said Jan Diedrichsen, vice president of affiliate marketing. “It was a very natural thing for us to do. We wanted to be there to help grow the on-demand product.”

Fuse offers between 100 to 150 music videos a month, across six genres — rock, alternative, pop, hip-hop, R&B and Latino — from all major record labels. It’s available in 40 markets, through affiliate deals with Comcast Corp., Cablevision Systems Corp. and Adelphia Communications Corp.

But since its launch, other companies have started aggregating music videos, perhaps an inevitable byproduct of VOD’s evolution.

As competitors entered the space, “we wanted to take a close look at who we are,” Diedrichsen said. As a linear channel, Fuse “is a viewer-driven network. We wanted to extend that to VOD.”

Take the program Video IQ. Fuse plans to add pop-up bubbles to the VOD version of Video IQ, providing clues to a puzzle.

Viewers will log in to an operator’s home page — it can be local or national, depending on what the MSO desires, Fuse says — and answer the puzzle. Winning entries can go into a raffle pool for prizes.

“We’ll have a special co-branded Web site and drive people to the cable operator’s Web site,” Diedrichsen said.

Other VOD programs will include trivia questions, added Joe Glennon, Fuse senior vice president of sales and marketing.

The Fuse program 100%, an in-depth look at a musical artist, will include trivia questions in its VOD version, he said. “People can log on and win prizes,” he added, including CDs, iTune gift dollars and iPod shuffles.

On Rock Show, Fuse VJ’s finish the program with a musical anecdote, linking today’s stars with artists from the past. “We’ll create trivia around that,” Glennon said. Trivia elements will be added to the VOD version of Uranium, Fuse’s look at hard rock.

The company also hopes to expand the high-speed Internet connection in later versions of the launch, which could include separate broadband segments hosted by Fuse VJs that only appear on an MSO’s home page.

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