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Monday, 13 August, 2001, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
MTV launches web initiative
The new face of MTV.com
MTV.com: Inviting increased viewer involvement
MTV has unveiled a major overhaul of its US website with new features designed to increase fans' involvement with the station via the internet.

MTV.com will provide a range of new services including instant messaging and community elements.

The changes are part of MTV Interactive's broader strategy called MTV360, which aims to tie together its internet and broadcast television output on MTV and MTV2.


MTV.com is a critical element of MTV360, putting the experience in the hands of our loyal fans

Judy McGrath, MTV president

"MTV.com is a critical element of MTV360, putting the experience in the hands of our loyal fans whether they are at home, online, or standing outside the MTV studios," said Judy McGrath, president of MTV and chairman of Interactive Music.

MTV's satellite and cable TV output already has a successful track record in inviting viewers to interact with its shows.

One of its most popular programmes is Total Request Live, where viewers can email or phone in to vote for favourite videos to be replayed.

Control Freak is another show which lets viewers contact the station to select what it broadcasts for an hour.

'Extraordinary'

Capitalising on the popularity of such shows, MTV.com will provide fans with what it describes as "an instant, deep connection with the music and artists they love and their favourite MTV shows".

New tools such as the MTV360 control panel will allow viewers to see what is currently airing on MTV or MTV2.

MTV Live
MTV Live: A major part of MTV Europe's interactive strategy

The site will also provide more interactive polls, never-before-seen video and exclusive behind-the-scenes content.

There will also be new dedicated areas to MTV events such as its annual video awards.

Sections such as Bands A to Z, Buzzworthy and Extended Play aim to bring fans more music news, information about stars and downloadable media.

And community services such as MTV Member, MTV Messenger and MTV Community will allow users to chat about the music scene.

Nicholas Butterworth, president and chief executive of MTV Interactive, commented on MTV.com's revamp.

"We set out to create the best music site, the best community site and the best television site all rolled into one extraordinary online music entertainment experience," he said.

Anniversary

The new MTV.com services are reflected in the broader interactive strategy of MTV Europe.

The US initiative is aimed at so-called "three screen convergence".

But, in Europe, viewers are invited to interact with the station in a wide range of ways, including via PCs and mobile phones.

MTV Interactive Europe also recently launched a new website in France.

It also announced that MTV Live - a TV channel designed exclusively for broadband distribution - was joining with satellite broadband network provider Europe Online.

The deal means that, from September, MTV Live will be available on PCs throughout Europe.

MTV, owned by Viacom, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

The station, which began on 1 August 1981, revolutionised the way popular music was enjoyed by the young.

Now it is recognised as the world's leading youth broadcaster, seen in 342 million households in 140 countries via 31 channels and in 17 languages.

See also:

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