By Tameka Kee,
Faced with slumping prime-time ratings and dwindling ad revenues, MTV is hoping that showing live tweets, Facebook updates and even RockYou videos will get teens excited about its new show, What You’re Watching With Alexa Chung. Blending social media with TV content is a no-brainer (especially for a network whose target audience is the 18-24 set). What’s more unusual is that MTV sharing some of the ad revenue with Facebook and Twitter.
What You’re Watching will be a “joint venture” between MTV and the two social-media properties, according to AdAge, which means that for once, Facebook and Twitter will be getting more than just “exposure” in exchange for letting a content provider make use of their platform. Companies like CNN, Us Weekly, 12seconds, and Glam Media have all recently plugged into Facebook or Twitter’s streams (and audiences) in the hopes of generating buzz, traffic, and most of all—more ad revenues—but the social networks’ cash-flow needs have mostly been left out of the equation.
With Facebook insisting it doesn’t need to raise cash, and Twitter struggling under the weight of its influx of new users, it doesn’t seem like either network will be able to sustain its status as a “free” social media utility (for content providers—not users) indefinitely. If this deal with MTV proves fruitful, expect other similar arrangements in the coming months. (It’s also interesting to note that MySpace was left out of the equation—yet another reason the network’s executive shuffle couldn’t have come at a better time).
2009 – This work is licensed under a CreativeCommons License.