MTVN Expands Niche Site and Advertising Experiment

  |  September 10, 2007   |  Comments

Specialized sites aim to engage viewers of specific shows while generating sponsorship opportunities.

Following what company executives said was a successful launch of several hyper-vertical content sites for its entertainment brands, MTV Networks is expanding its flock of niche properties. An additional two dozen are scheduled to launch by year's end, with an eye towards providing integrated advertising opportunities.

Having launched specialized sites for MTVN content like My Super Sweet 16 and World Series of Pop Culture almost a year ago, the network is adding additional sites for other shows, including The Daily Show, The Sarah Silverman Program, SouthParkStudios.com and others. The network has been happy not only with the level of consumer engagement with the sites, but also with the additional ad revenue they've generated, according to Brian Graden, president of entertainment for the MTV music group and president of MTVN's GLBT-focused Logo network.

"We have a lot of success with the initial ones that we've launched. [And they] also quickly captured advertisers' imaginations," said Graden.

MTVN is testing forms of video advertising other than pre- and post-roll video advertising and banners, Graden said. He pointed out an Adidas sponsorship of the site created for the show Made, and the ability for Adidas and other clothing manufacturers to place virtual items with logos on avatars within the site.

"We are selling some standard banner ads and pre-rolls, but we also want to experiment as much as possible," he said. "We view these [properties] as a place we could experiment with different ad models that come to the world in addition to the pre-rolls. We're coming up with a different ways you can integrate as sponsors."

The new Web sites are created and managed by a team within MTVN, and are part of a larger strategy to create and operate hundreds of Web sites based on content from its MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Logo, Nickelodeon, GameTrailers and MTV International brands.

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Matthew G. Nelson

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