Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup East: Engaging Viewers Through Multiple Screens

Dan HartEmbracing the reality that one screen can no longer command a viewer’s full attention, Senior VP and GM of MTV Digital Dan Hart gave a fascinating presentation on some of MTV’s latest digital strategies for bridging the gap between TV, online and mobile. A game plan that in retrospect seems a longtime coming given shrinking attention spans and pre-existing viewing behaviors (I remember back in middle school when everyone used to “watch” TV with their friends on the phone), Hart details the reasoning as well as a few of the latest implementations…

Background: Screens and Teens

-31% of in-home internet activity occurs while watching TV

-45% teens IM or message friends they know are watching the same tv shows

-35% of 9-17 year olds have participated or played games that they were informed about while watching TV shows

TV 2.0 Strategy: The Layer Cake

Hart graphs the viewing experience from surface (consume programming) to middle (sharing and connecting) to core (interacting online and playing show-related games,) explaining how the deepest level not only provides a new experience for devoted watchers, but also draws newer audiences into the multi-faceted “world” of the show.

In Action : BackChannel and FNMTV

BackChannel
A “competitive chat” that encourages viewers to watch-while-they play and see their own and others’ snarky comments appear on TV in real-time with prominence based on points awarded by the online players. Currently, it’s only available for “The Hills,” but it seems Paris Hilton and her search for a new BFF is next in line for the BackChannel treatment.

FNMTV
Harking back to the channel’s roots and namesake, FNMTV (Friday Night MTV) is a music video program hosted by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz that premieres 4-6 new videos a week along with viewers’ instantaneous feeback.

Background: Teens Go Mobile

-50% Teens mobile by age 13

-47% of teens said their social life would end without texting

-50% teens consider their mobile as an entertainment platform

MTV Mobile In Action: Lifecasting and Twittervision

Lifecasting the JoBros
MTV partnered with Flixwagon (another Mashup panelist) to deliver a nonstop blogging event that captured The Jonas Brothers via video phone from waking up to heading on stage at Madison Square Garden. Over 1 million users signed up.

Obama Wins on Twittervision
As part of MTV’s Choose or Lose campaign, on election night an interactive TwitterVision map appeared on a giant HDTV in Times Square flashing messages from viewers across the country, the Choose or Lose Street Team and MTV news correspondents, along with video blog posts.

In Conclusion

Throughout the 80s, 90s and early oughts MTV played an integral role in defining youth culture. With these thoughtful initiatives and others in the same vein, Hart and the channel (whose recent struggles are no secret), are making a valiant effort to keep it that way.

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