India has introduced a new platform for sponsored content on its network. Called Messenger TV, it lets people watch the same video and other content while chatting with their friends.
The company has already signed on MTV, as an extension of its international partnership, for its romance-drama reality show in India, Splitsvilla.
There are two ways in which users can share the videos on Messenger TV. If a user is logged on to Windows Live Messenger and views a video on the site, a link below the video will allow him to share it through chat. While chatting, users can also click on the Messenger TV link and view the video simultaneously and chat about it. There is even a virtual remote control, which users can pass to each other to control which videos are playing.
MSN has also created a site, www.msnindia.com/splitsvilla, for the show, which features video clips, a contest and a blog.
The content on the MTV Spiltsvilla site will be updated constantly while the show lasts. "Every week, for 13 weeks, we will add a new angle to the contest (on the site)," says Hari. Visitors can participate in the contest, post comments on the blogs of the participants and vote for their favourites.
Some of the videos on the site will provide exclusive behind the scenes footage of the show.
MTV Splitsvilla was launched by the TV channel last week. It is a reality show in which 20 female contestants vie for the attention of two male contestants.
Anuj Poddar, senior vice-president, strategy and business development, and head of digital at MTV India, says, "We at MTV always create content that fit across platforms, so be it on-air, online or the mobile we are everywhere. Our endeavor is always to be in sync with the ever changing Gen X, so we will now be available to the MSN members through messenger TV at the click of a button. I am glad MSN India chose MTV Splitsvilla to further connect with their target audiences."