MTV in state of Flux

Broadcaster invests in mobile entertainment network

LONDON — MTV International has staked its biggest ever investment in a new mobile entertainment network known as Flux.

The subscription-based service, which delivers digital entertainment and music content to online networks and mobile devices such as phones, has already launched in Japan, with MTV intending to take it to other markets around the world in coming months.

“We have a long-term commitment to invest in new creative content for digital media across platforms and around the world. Quite simply, we want to be the number one producer of content for digital,” said Bill Roedy, vice chairman of MTV Networks and president of MTV Networks International.

Roedy declined to disclose financial details, but he confirmed the scale of the company’s investment in the new brand. “Flux is the world’s first mobile entertainment community, and this launch represents our biggest international investment in this sector to date,” he said.

“Digital media is an integral part of young people’s lives, and we’re already producing an enormous amount of content around the world to serve their diverse tastes. We now have 90 Web sites, in addition to our 104 TV channels across brands, along with broadband, interactive TV, video on demand and mobile platforms across the globe.”

The development of Flux builds on MTV’s expansion strategy into mobile technology. The company already is a leading content provider of third-generation mobile phone services (music, video, animation and games) in key markets like the UK and the Nordic region.

The broadcaster recently announced a major deal in China, where it last month entered a strategic alliance with China Mobile to provide a subscription-based music service to 200 million subscribers.

Roedy said Flux will include clips from the best of MTV Networks’ library, but, in keeping with the company’s regionalization strategy, the various Flux networks will feature locally created original animations and other licensed content, such as local music, in each territory.

Targeting 13-34 year-olds, Flux Japan’s content will include original video and animation productions from the country’s leading creators, as well as programming from the global MTV Networks library, including Dirty Sanchez and Gutterpups. And tapping into other brands, SpongeBob SquarePants will be seen for the first time in Japan outside the Nickelodeon environment on Flux.

The Flux service has initially launched on KDDI Corporation’s mobile network with a monthly fee of 315 yen ($3). Consumers will be able to pay subscription fees and purchase top-ups for additional content via monthly mobile bills and credit cards.

Subscribers will be able to share content lists as well as offer feedback on what they’ve downloaded. “We’ve always made it a priority to empower our audiences, and this new service combines the right ingredients to link community and entertainment into a seamless and compelling user experience,” added Roedy.

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