‘Pop’ ups phone fun

Interactive show draws high ratings, sponsers

Cellular phone usage has increased dramatically in Asia recently, and MTV is cashing in on that extraordinary growth with “U-Pop,” a year-old interactive request show that allows viewers to conduct live on-air conversations with mobile-phone text messages.

Cell phone penetration in Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore is among the highest in the world, meaning many of MTV Asia’s target viewers are already mobile-equipped.

Tech-savvy viewers’ chat messages run along a ticker at the bottom of the screen while musicvideos play. Most of the chat is abbreviated gibberish completely unrelated to the music onscreen, but that hasn’t seemed to discourage viewers from tuning in.

“U-Pop,” which is currently on hiatus, attracted high ratings and sponsorship from Nokia and is expected to return to MTV Asia screens by the end of the year.

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