MTV US president Van Toffler highlights the importance of short form videos during CTIA keynote


MUMBAI: In his keynote address at the CTIA Wireless 2006 event in the US, MTV Music Group president Van Toffler highlighted the appeal of short-form video from the MTV, VH1, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo and Spike TV brands on the wireless platform.

He described the mobile platform as a rich, creative medium for new and emerging talent to connect with and cultivate new audiences.

To underscore that point, Toffler welcomed recording artist LL Cool J, to the stage. LL offered an advance look at an upcoming episode of MTV's Life & Rhymes, which chronicles his life as an artist and is set to debut tonight 10 April on MTV, MTV's broadband channel Overdrive and on MTV Mobile.

Toffler noted that audiences have increasingly embraced MTV Networks' diverse array of mobile programming. Last month MTV Networks streamed nearly 2.5 million videos cross-carrier, an all-time high, Toffler reported, adding that the number is growing by nearly 40 per cent month-to-month for the first three months of 2006.

He says, "Our audience is responding in droves to our mobile programming. They have a personal relationship with our brands and they increasingly want to consume our content on the handset, the new 'holy grail' of electronic


LL Cool J echoed that sentiment saying, "The mobile phone helps me establish closer ties with my fans, connect with new ones and hopefully inspire everyone I touch through my music. The cell phone -- which has become

the accessory for today's young adults -- is one way that helps me reach them."

Among the varied types of mobile programming driving audience consumption are music videos, comedy segments, user-generated content, scenes from television shows, 'after shows' developed exclusively for mobile, never-

before-seen outtakes, and short art breaks, also known as "sharts," featuring animated and live-action segments.

In many respects, the burgeoning mobile

platform is a return to MTV Networks' early roots, when MTV gained significant

notoriety for the five- and 15-second art breaks created by brilliant, young talent and which lived between the music videos. For the MTVN Music Group, which encompasses the CMT, MTV and VH1 brands, three types of programming -- extensions of on-air franchises; made-for-mobile episodes; and music -- are all performing well on the mobile platform.

Extensions of On-air Franchises

VH1's Flavour of Love, the most successful show in that channel's history, was also the most popular VH1 Mobile content in February

and March.

-- Web Junk 20 also on VH1 and VH1 Mobile, ushered in the user-generated era to TV and simultaneously to mobile phones.

-- MTV will showcase a 20-year-old college student's visual interpretation using stick figures based on the lyrics of Fall Out

Boy's Sugar We're Going Down, representing original user-generated content.

-- VH1 is debuting Dingo Ate My Video, a made-for-mobile series that combines VH1's comedic voice with music videos from a wide

range of artists, including Green Day, Missy Elliot, Jewel and others.

-- Country Music Television soon will debut a made-for-mobile reality series called Road Hammers about a southern rock/blues band trying to make it in the music business.

MTV adds that labels and artists like LL Cool J increasingly are embracing the mobile platform to connect with fans and institute new marketing paradigms.

The Arctic Monkey's new video I Bet You Look Good on the Dance floor made its debut on: mtvU, MTV's network for college students; mtvU's Uber broadband network; mtvU.com and mtvU wireless.

The approach mirrored a similar one taken by VH1 last year, which debuted Te Amo Corazon, the new Prince single, on VH1, VH1's

VSPOT broadband channel, and VH1 Mobile. The Prince debut marked the world's first-ever multimedia, multiplatform worldwide

exclusive premiere.

-- Prior to releasing her latest single and album, Madonna distributed an exclusive ringtone for Hung Upon MTV Mobile and VH1 Mobile.

Spike TV is delivering the Ultimate Fighting Championship's 'Ultimate Fight Night(TM) Live' to Amp'd Mobile subscribers tonight.

This represents the first time the live sporting event is being simulcast to both mobile devices and to television subscribers.

"The wireless platform is as important to us as television and computer screens. As soon as we start developing a new concept, we think beyond the television. We think of how that idea can live on broadband and mobile" Toffler says.

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