MTV Puts Music Videos into Overdrive

MTV this week announced the launch of “MTV Overdrive,” an Web-based channel designed for broadband users who want their MTV — online.

The service will launch on April 25, 2005 with exclusive, MTV-style content, including music videos, live music performances, short-form programming and artist interviews.

MTV Overdrive is the latest addition to the company’s multi-platform strategy, delivering content to viewers everywhere they demand it: on-air, online, via wireless, video-on-demand and more.

“With an incredibly high percentage of young people using broadband, it seemed essential to create a new hybrid screen with its own content to complement MTV, MTV2, MTV.com and *MTV,” said Jason Hirschhorn, SVP Digital Music & Media, MTV Networks.

Catering to a Broadband Generation

MTV Overdrive joins MTV’s other online properties, MTV.com, MTV2.com and mtvU.com.

The service will include six separate channels of programming including highlights of the day’s programming, such as music, news and film trailers; exclusive, four-times-a-day news updates; behind-the-scenes access to original MTV television programming; a movies channel including film trailers and celebrity interviews; and, of course, plenty of music.

Video game culture and personal style are to be added soon as well.

“Like our audience, we are always evolving, finding new ways to create compelling content for breakthrough technologies, and Overdrive is a powerful new platform that allows users to have more control over the way they experience MTV,” said Van Toffler, MTV Networks Group President.

Device-Independent Entertainment

MTV is reportedly planning to develop additional material for the broadband-delivered channel, and has set up a new production studio to create exclusive content for this and other Internet-related projects.

Phil Leigh, senior analyst at Inside Digital Media, told TechNewsWorld that, in part, MTV Overdrive represents the network’s attempt to restake its claim to music videos. The network, he said, has moved away from its roots in music videos by going into the reality programming business in recent years. Leigh said Overdrive is also a recognition of the coming digital revolution and a migration from device-specific to device-independent content in the entertainment realm.

The formerly television-specific MTV is gradually going to become device-independent, he said. “It will be viewable with whatever device can attach to the Internet. MTV is laying the groundwork so it is prepared for the day when people expect to get their entertainment on a variety of different devices besides television.”

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