MTV Puts Twang in Online Push

Mar 27, 2006  •  Post A Comment

MTV Networks really wants its broadband. CMT’s Loaded is set to join Overdrive, VSpot and MotherLoad in late summer as the company’s latest broadband channel.

“MTV Networks has been trying to define itself on the Internet in the past couple years, and our audience is overindexed [as online users],” said Jason Hirschhorn, chief digital officer of MTVN. Thus, “We’re trying to create complementary experiences to the channels,” he said.

Loaded is an offshoot of CMT, just as Overdrive is an offshoot of MTV, VSpot is related to VH1 and MotherLoad is the daughter of Comedy Central.

The programming plan for Loaded includes adding short-form original content, exclusive videos and interviews and a more expansive take on country music than the linear network.

Like the other MTVN broadband channels, the site will be ad-supported with 15- to 30-second ads that appear before each segment.

“This will not be regurgitated TV content,” Mr. Hirschhorn said. “We’re going to go deeper into the artists and music. We’ll have the ability to program for all genres of country.”

CMT personalities Lance Smith (host of “CMT Top 20 Countdown”) and Katie Cook (host of “CMT Insider”) are expected to host some of the content, with more names to be announced.

One thing you won’t see on Loaded is any reference to the other MTVN broadband channels. “We’ve looked at ways to cross-promote the sites, but we think MTV Networks should be invisible to the audience,” Mr. Hirschhorn said. “It needs to be a CMT experience.”

In the past year MTV Networks has also launched broadband channels for mtvU (%DC;ber) and Nickelodeon (TurboNick). Of the major MTV Networks brands, only Spike TV, Logo and TV Land have yet to announce broadband channels. But Mr. Hirschhorn hinted that might soon change.

“Loaded is a really great broadband product, and it won’t be the last for MTV Networks,” he said.