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Viacom targets mobile operators with global roll-out of MTV Play and MTV Trax

Viacom-owned music service MTV is going global with its two OTT apps MTV Play and MTV Trax. OTT means ‘over the internet,’ ie bypassing usual distribution channels in the way that Netflix and Hulu do (thanks Technopedia).

200px-MTV_Logo_2010.svgMTV Play, developed with multi-screen technology provider Vigour, lets people flick MTV video content across all their screens. Mobile network partners are already signed in Germany, Switzerland and Romania.

MTV’s Trax app, launched in partnership with MusicQubed in the UK, offers a ‘play-as-you-go’ digital music service tailored for pre-pay customers This is set to launch in New Zealand.

MTV says 41 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds regularly watch TV shows on smartphones. Mobile handsets are the favoured music listening devices for this group and 11 per cent of under-35s pay for music streaming services.

Bob Bakish, CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, says: “MTV is one of the hottest entertainment brands in the minds of 16 to 24-year-old mobile users, with the majority of online engagement with the MTV brand now coming through mobile devices. This launch of the MTV Play and MTV Trax apps offers mobile operators an enormous opportunity to differentiate themselves and reward consumer loyalty by offering greater value through premium branded content and services targeting young customers who aren’t currently subscribing to pay TV.”

MTV pioneered music on cable and digital TV 20 years or so ago. But its output lost some of its appeal as Apple’s iTunes revolution produced a generation of music fans who preferred to ‘curate’ their own content rather than have someone else do it for them.

It will be interesting to see if the big mobile operators in major markets think MTV still has a role to play in the online music free-for-all.

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