MTVN Makes Wireless Push

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MTV Networks has always taken its programming cues from trends among its youth-oriented audiences, and these days, that is prompting a major drive into the burgeoning world of content aimed at mobile-phone screens.

With an average of 2.5 million MTV: Music Television mobile-video streams served up per month on Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp. and Amp’d Mobile Inc. services during the first quarter of 2006, it appears that the MTV audience is climbing on board.

Van Toffler, president of MTV Music Group, will talk about the TV-music-programming house’s ride into mobile programming at this week’s CTIA Wireless 2006 show in Las Vegas.

For MTVN, the driving factor in its mobile play is the fact that its youth and young-adult audiences are attached to their mobile phones not only for communication, but increasingly for content.

So MTVN created mobile content related to TV shows such as VH1’s Web Junk 20 and MTV’s Laguna Beach and 8th and Ocean, including clips with video sneak peeks of upcoming episodes, as well as cast interviews.

MTVN is also developing original, short-format mobile shows. One of the first in that genre will be Comedy Central’s Samurai Love God, an animated series with eight two-and-a-half-minute episodes, featuring voice work from adult film actress Jenna Jameson. It will debut later this spring.

Another focus for MTVN is music, including the recent rollout of 15 live streaming radio channels on Sprint Nextel’s “Power Vision” broadband service. It also offers video content, such as a recent documentary clip on the making of artist Pink’s latest music video.

For more on MTVN’s wireless content, please see Karen Brown’s story on page 14 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

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