Becoming the last of MTV Networks' major channels to do so, Spike has launched a broadband video player on its Website. The player, which, unlike those of the other MTV Networks channels, will not have a separate name, will be embedded on spiketv.com and will feature original programming and video content tied to the male-targeting network's TV shows. It will be compatible with Macs and PCs.
Spike relaunched its Website in February to focus more on video, and with its new broadband player, is bringing together video content in one place, divided into different channels. At launch, the ad-supported player will feature three original series: Geek-Ray Vision reports on nerd-friendly movies, music and other products; Enduro at Erzberg, is a Navy-sponsored reality show about a motocross race in an outdoor mine in Austria; and Rattlesnake Raceway is a reality show about dirt bikers in Nevada. The player will also have extensions of on-air programming.
Throughout the fall, the player will debut new originals including chick-search Spike's Hottest Bartenders: NYC; full contact stick fighting show Gathering of the Pack; demolition car-fest Buddy's Garage; and Burning at the Thunderdome, about the men behind the scenes of Nevada's annual Burning Man Festival.
Although later than the other MTV Networks channels to the broadband game, Spike is innovating with its player by having it embedded in the site, rather than having it pop up in a separate window as do MTV's Overdrive and others.
The network, which has toyed with its branding several times in the past few years, chose not to give it a name unto itself like Overdrive and VH1's VSpot so as not to confuse viewers, says Spike's Steve Farrell, VP, digital media.
"We really feel like Spike is the brand and we didn't want to sub-brand this as something we'd have to name and support and explain to users what it's about," he says.