Viacom Music and Logo Group Revamps AppsConsolidates features into channel branded apps and significantly expands TV Everywhere, second-screen and digital-only content offerings 6/13/2013 12:00:00 AM Eastern
The Viacom Music and Logo Group has rolled out a new MTV and
MTV2 app for iPhone and iPad that highlights significant changes in its app
The new app includes full episode viewing of new series,
expanded second screen co-viewing features, improved search and social media
capabilities, access to full episodes of some classic MTV series and much
beefed up original content offering.
Those features are part of a larger effort to offer more
features into a single branded app for its channels and they represent a
significant expansion of the content available on apps as part of its growing
TV Everywhere deals.
"You really have three apps in one," with VOD access to full
episodes for TV Everywhere authenticated subscribers, expanded second-screen
features and new digital only content, said Kristin Frank, executive VP of
connected content for Viacom Music and Logo Group.
In the past, MTV and VH1 had separate second-screen sync or
co-viewing apps, the MTV WatchWith and the VH1 Co-Star apps. Those features
have now been consolidated into the new MTV app.
"We've been very active in the second screen and social
space in the last few years," Frank said. "This makes it easier for fans to
access and use daily."
As part of that effort, the group is planning to launch
similar apps for VH1, CMT and Logo for Apple's iOS platform in the coming
months, Frank said in a pre-launch briefing. It is also planning to launch the
MTV/MTV2 app on Android and Xbox by the end of the year.
The MTV/MTV2 app also represents the first time that the
group is making a significant amount of full episodes available on demand as
part of TV Everywhere authenticated apps. For full episodes, much of the focus
is on current MTV series but the app will also include access to select iconic
retro shows, including Beavis and
Butt-head, Daria, and Laguna Beach.
While Viacom had been relatively cautious about inking TV
Everywhere deals, it has significantly expanded those agreements over the last
year and the new MTV/MTV2 app will reach a large footprint of authenticated
Access to full-length episodes in the MTV/MTV2 app will be
included as part of a subscriber's TV service package that includes MTV and/or
MTV2 from nine major multichannel providers reaching nearly 50 million homes,
The multichannel providers with TV Everywhere deals with
Viacom include AT&T U-verse, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, DirecTV,
Hawaiian Telecom, RCN, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS.
Generally, the apps will provide short-form content and one
full episode of each series to all users as a promotional tool but will require
authentication as a multichannel subscriber for access to the rest of the full
episodes, added Colin Helms, senior VP of the connected content group for MTV.
Both the authenticated and non-authenticated content will
have ads. Pepsi has signed on as a launch partner of the MTV/MTV 2 app with a
"presenting sponsor presence."
Pepsi will also exclusively have the summer music section of
Another notable feature of the new app is the debut of the
new Viacom Music and Logo Group connected content lab that will create new
content and work on new approaches to development and production of new video
franchises, Helms said.
The first launch of this effort will be in the MTV Other
section of the MTV app. "The goal is to experiment with a lot of new formats
and talent and create a format where young creators can get into our
development system and test new ideas," Helms said.
The app will launch with all the episodes of several new
franchises, he added. Then they will add a new franchise every week or two
As the other channels roll out new apps, they will also
offer original content.
The MTV Other content will be ad-supported but not require
authentication. "We want to see what works and then look at how it might
manifest itself on other screens," he said.
The first series from this effort include Late Night Munchies, with Thu Tran,
former host of IFC's Food Party; Inside Joke, produced in conjunction
with the website Splitsider.com; and Rock
Stories, an animated series.