MIPTV: Social network MySpace is looking to license and distribute linear TV channels as part of ambitious plans to establish itself in the connected TV market.
Blair Day, MySpace’s recently appointed VP of strategy, told C21 the firm is also looking to commission its own longform content – initially music programming – to follow the recent launch of its shortform web series Wolfpack.
Commenting on the firm’s MySpace TV plans, Day said: “The majority of what we will do will be to bring in content that’s already there – ideally to bring in full linear channels. We’re not looking to recreate what’s out there in the 500-channel universe. So the opportunity is to find a new distribution platform for that content, which would be MySpace TV.”
He added the firm is currently in discussions with “dozens” of broadcast and TV networks, and wants to bring on “supporting video-on-demand content” for the linear channels, and a transactional layer for on-demand content. However, no deals are yet in place.
“You have tens of thousands of people cutting their cable service every day, their pay-TV service every day and looking for an alternative distribution platform. We need to keep in mind that you can’t stop that phenomenon and if these traditional television channels want to be distributed in this new distribution world, then we’re here for them,” said Day.
MySpace first announced MySpace TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. The TV service will debut in the summer as an app for Panasonic TVs, with more roll-outs to follow.
“Our core distribution strategy right now is through connected televisions and connected devices in the home, because we believe television is essentially still a very passive lean-back experience,” said Day.
A second component of MySpace’s TV plans is a second-screen social companion app, which will sync with what’s on TV and include a social TV guide, information about shows and ways for viewers to interact with their friends via services like Facebook and Twitter. Users will also be able to watch MySpace TV content through the companion app. The app is due to launch in the US with a base layer of ad-supported free linear channels.
MySpace plans to also revamp and relaunch its web presence in August and plans to bring its MySpace TV service to territories outside the US next year, said Day.