MTV UK has launched two new digital ventures – a virtual world called MTV House and an advice site aimed at teenagers called MTVi. The sites – which both go live this week – follow the alpha release of music discovery site Soundtrack.mtv.com, which went live in the US last week.
MTV House is a virtual environment in which MTV viewers can create avatars, explore different rooms and interact with other users. Through the virtual world, users will also be able to access MTV video content, news stories and reviews. The site will run on an ad-supported basis with house branding, themed rooms and sponsorship available.
Meanwhile, MTVi is an ad-free site designed to give advice and information on topics such as drugs, violence, climate change and mental and sexual health. The site will run in partnership with outside organisations such as drugs advice site Frank and emotional support network Big White Wall.
“MTV.co.uk is about building a community for online audiences that are passionate about entertainment and music, as well as being socially conscious,” says MTV UK’s VP of digital media, Philip O’Ferrall. “Our digital activity is evolving and adapting to allow the audience to express themselves more.”
The new sites are the latest in a string of digital launches and acquisitions by MTV Networks. In February MTVN acquired Babunga, a firm which runs a network of family sites, while in January it made deals to syndicate its content to five online video sites and Comcast’s broadband service, in a bid to expand its online presence. Last year MTV partnered with Intercasting to launch its first mobile social network, Con3xion, while in September it launched a social network called Think.MTV.com.