MTV Rings Up Mobile Content Unit

Viacom-owned MTV Networks has created a new unit to drive the company’s push into the burgeoning market for mobile content.

The new group, called MTVN Mobile Media, will develop games, videos, ring-tones and other content from the various MTV brands to distribute to cell phone carriers.

For the most part, MTV Networks has been slow to embrace the wireless sector but the creation of the new unit — which is headed by Greg Clayman and staffed through internal promotions — signals a new push by the media giant to tap into a market that reached 3.7 million subscribers in 2006.

Judy McGrath, Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks, said in a statement the company’s overall digital strategy is to connect consumers on every platform, stressing that MTVN Mobile Media will help the Viacom unit’s various brands ‘take it even further in distribution and product development.”

“[It] will expand our global wireless footprint even more, so the communities around our brands can access our content anywhere,” McGrath added.

According to mobile industry watcher Telephia, several television outlets have already found success in the mobile video market. In a report released earlier this year, Telephia found NBC Mobile News, Comedy Central, Accuweather, CNN and E! among the top 12 most watched mobile video channels.

The MTV Mobile Media unit is also expected to support the teams at the individual MTVN brands to develop mobile content and applications – including personalization, entertainment, information and messaging products.

MTV Network now publishes more than 600 clips and 30 hours of video per month in the United States. It also counts partnerships with about 70 international phone carriers.

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