MTV prepares for social media buzz during the VMAs

Krystal Peak · August 31, 2012 · Short URL:

After all the Twitter commotion from past VMA moments, MTV is putting a lot effort into social media

While the viewership of the actual MTV VMAs has seen better days, many are bracing themselves for the award show and the Twitter explosions sure to result for impromptu statements from celebrities. In recent year, Beyonce’s baby bump and Kanye’s interruption of Taylor Swift's award speech both reflected the extremely viral world we live in.

As we have noticed with the Olympics and now the RNC event in Tampa, the world loves to get in on the live-commentary for televised events, so much so that hashtags and memes seem to pop up spontaneously on Twitter and Facebook for every event. The latest of which is the now trending #eastwooding, a response to actor and Hollywood royalut Clint Eastwood's speech that included speaking with a chair that (presumably) held the imaginary President Obama -- we still aren't sure what was going on with that one.

So with just a week to prepare for the VMA, MTV's Social Media is getting ready for the onslaught of more than 10 million VMA tweets expected on Sept. 6.

Surprisingly, well maybe not that surprisingly, MTV even has a team of people ready to push out animated GIFs and memes as the show continues airing.

MTV will also have a Twitter tracker to follow which VMA moments are buzzing the most on Twitter and capitalize on the excitement as soon as possible.

Just as most businesses want to get viewers to talk about their content and click on links, video, ads and anything related, MTV is gearing up to make sure that they not only make news but also cater it to the most resonating images, soundbites and moments.

Social media from a business/brand perspective is just as much reactionary as it is proactive nowadays.

This is just the latest effort to move the needle on social for MTV, back in February, MTV launched "Under the Thumb" to allow users to access MTV content in app, use the app as a computer remote control and chat about programs using second screen, co-viewing services.

This is a whole new way to bring the mobile social world to an audience turning away from traditional TV and toward computer and mobile access.

The service, developed by Viacom International Media Networks and AKQA in Viacom will initially be available for free, but it will also introduce paid options for premium content. MTV says it currently has some 2.7 million users of its mobile products across seven countries in the region. 

How does the app work

Those that download the new "Under the Thumb" app can instantly access MTV content and watch hundreds of hours of shows right on their mobile device. But say viewers find that little 4-inch screen to limiting, this app also turns into a computer remote so that you can watch MTV shows on your computer and use your phone to pause, play, rewind or chat while the show is on.

And, just as second screen technology has been growing over the last 16 months, this new app also allows more chatting and sharing functions so that you can co-view content with friends anywhere in the world by sharing what you are watching and opening up a chat with anyone else watching the same program.

Most major broadcasters have created apps for their mobile users to either chat about their favorite programs or watch content, the uniqueness of the MTV app is that it is aiming to put all the mobile and social aspects in a single platform. 

If users and advertisers positively respond to the way this is packaged, I see no reason why TV app developers wouldn't go this direction so that all the sharing and viewing could be done in a single app.

Users are too often frustrated that their mobile apps only do a single things and they have to access different apps for different content -- this "Under the Thumb" concept could be a viable solution -- if excited properly.

And in addition, MTV has even folded in a news service called ‘Tiny Thumb’ which offers celebrity news and MTV highlights, as a limited selection of episodes to watch, will be free to use. 

‘Super Thumb’ unlocks further shows, seasons and content to subscribers on a monthly basis for €2.99, and those who pay up €29.99 annually will have access to everything.

At the moment "Under The Thumb" will only be available in Europe, but hopefully the launch will spur interest for more companies to take on this model so that those that want the on-demand content can access it anywhere they wish.




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