In a bid to retain its role as a pop culture staple, MTV has announced plans to a launch a show that taps into the power of social media, tightly integrating with Facebook and Twitter to maximize fan interaction. The show will be hosted by British celebrity and model Alexa Chun and begin airing this summer, with plans to move it to the network’s coveted after-school timeslot depending on its performance.
Back in the late 90’s, an MTV show called Total Request Live was a staple in dictating what was hot in popular music. That show gradually lost steam over time (it was finally canceled in late 2008) and while MTV has maintained some succcessful properties, it’s lacking a flagship show that its audience tunes into on a daily basis. According to this AP report, viewership is down 18% for the first three months of this year.
The new show will include MTV’s standard variety of celebrities and musical performances, but will also include real-time conversations taken from Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to interact with the show as it airs. According to this report, beyond basic interaction on Facebook and Twitter users will be able to upload their favorite videos (including those they’ve filmed themselves) through a RockYou application.
Audience interaction isn’t anything new to MTV – even in the TRL days it often featured messages sent in by fans, and the videos that appeared on the show were dictated by audience voting via phone and online. But Twitter and Facebook offer the network a way to stay directly connected with fans day and night, broadcasting frequent updates even when the show isn’t on the air. And it’s likely an approach that will play extremely well to MTV’s core demographic.
Below, a video of Alexa Chung doing an interview totally unrelated to the MTV show.