MTV, Verizon Partner For Live Music Series

MTV is creating a new live music series, "MTV Live," which will be distributed on Verizon's V Cast, as well as MTV's own mobile, TV and broadband properties.

The show, a monthly program recorded in front of a live audience at the Times Square Hard Rock Cafe in New York, will debut next month. "We really are making this content available on multiple screens because that's the way that the audience really demands it," said Tim Rosta, MTV's senior vice president of integrated marketing.

The first episode, slated to premiere on Feb. 6, will feature a live performance by punk/emo band Fall Out Boy. Future artists include rappers Nas and Akon and the hip-hop group Gym Class Heroes. The series will be monetized by standard TV-style ads; in addition, Verizon Wireless has branding and product placement in the show.

A report released Tuesday by research firm IDC names Verizon Wireless as the new U.S. market leader on mobile data spending per customer. Verizon subscribers average $7.27 in data spending--which includes the streaming of video content--in the third quarter of 2006, according to the report. Overall, however, streamed content like "MTV Live" constitutes a relatively small portion of carrier revenues: IDC reported that content downloads account for only 12% of the $4.1 billion in data services revenue for all national carriers.



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