MTV Networks (MTVN) has implemented Janrain Engage to give site visitors one log-in across the network of more than 50 properties, as well as the ability to share articles, comments, and video clips with friends on multiple social networks and sites including Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and MySpace.
After about six weeks into deployment across seven sites, MTVN has identified positive trends through A/B testing, but it's too early to speculate about specifics because of the variety of sites the network runs, according to T.J. Marchetti, VP of social media product development at MTV Networks. "We replaced the Facebook Connect integration and then allowed all the brands to design specific experiences such as setting up how they would like to see registration screens," he says.
The technology aims to remove hurdles and allow site visitors to connect and share content more easily. The content is shared on social networks and draws visitors back to the MTVN sites. The process is the same for TeenNick.com as it is for VH1.com, ColbertNation.com or TheDailyShow.com. The company plans to extend the deployment throughout 2011.
The ability to post back to multiple social networks allows site visitors to share messages with friends. Larry Drebes, Janrain chief executive officer, says the MTVN properties now have a 12-to-1 referral rate. That means 12 additional clicks occur for the one post. "It's free marketing for the properties by the users," he says.
Another advantage to outsourcing the social feature means it removes engineering burdens from MTVN, putting the responsibility on Janrain, Drebes says. That movement created a new service industry for Janrain. About half of the company's nearly fifty employees are engineers or have technical skills. He tends to hire the "Web heads" -- those a little on the "nerdy side."
Web operators want to increasingly outsource technology not central to their core content, so Janrain staked out user management as a service where it can excel. There's a ton of operational behind-the-scenes plumbing, from privacy and security, that the company can support. As more focus turns to consumer data it will become more important for companies to get it correct.
MTVN joins the list of entertainment companies adopting Janrain. They include Universal Music Group, EMI Music, Warner Music, Windup Records and Sonora, Terra Networks.