MtvU has partnered with local search specialist Zvents to create a series of Web sites geared to individual colleges. The sites will allow students at those universities to search for concerts, sales, parties and other events in their cities. MtvU hopes the sites will serve as de facto city guides to students at each of the 25 universities it is currently targeting, with more to come before the end of the year.
Zvents collects and aggregates event listings, restaurant openings, sales specials and concerts, then enables publishers of local sites to make them searchable to users. Zvents lists events at no charge to the organizers — most of its information comes from sites like Ticketmaster.com and Restaurants.com — but does offer expanded listings and display ads for paying clients.
By partnering with Zvents, mtvU can launch sites for individual colleges that will aggregate all local listings with a built-in search function, and allow local advertisers to compete for the attention of students. Collectively the sites are known as the Campus Daily Guides.
The new sites “will enable students and businesses to relate more efficiently to one another. The sites will be inclusive of everything from classes and lectures to parties and events and sales in bookstores in the local community,” said Paul O’Brien, VP of marketing for Zvents. “By leveraging the Zvent platform, mtvu is allowing those college students to more easily find those things and interact with those businesses.”
In addition to local listings, the sites will try to draw in students with mtvU content. “MtvU’s Campus Daily Guides marry mtvU’s programming with all of the resources students need within the college bubble,” said Stephen Friedman, GM of mtvU, in a written statement. “With access to millions of local listings and resources, we’re simplifying students’ experience and providing national, regional and local advertisers a powerful connection to this hard to reach audience.”
The initial launch of the guides includes sites for the University of Arizona, the Uni[versity of Kentucky, Emory University and Northwestern University. O’Brien said the schools were chosen because they have “a strong relationship” with mtvU, and not necessarily because of their size.
The first 25 college sites will be joined by at least 25 more by the end of the year, said O’Brien.
MtvU is MTV’s college-oriented network, which is broadcast to more than 750 campuses in the U.S. MtvU also owns and operates a number of other college-oriented Web services, such as the College Media Network, a series of online college newspapers, and RateMyProfessor.com.
Zvents, which was founded in 2005, also serves as the search platform for partners such as MSN City Guides and Boston.com.
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