Viewer-Driven/Web-Centric Programming Drives the Rapid Growth of MTV Alternative, muchmusic usa

muchmusic usa Leverages the Power of the Web to Create New Programming Model For Cable Entertainment

New Deals With Lava Life, Liquid Audio and Rovion Deepen The Content and Experience For Tech-Savvy Teen Music Lovers

New York, NY – November 11, 2002 – muchmusic usa has done what other cable channels with their flat, promotional-only web sites have long been too afraid to do – it has built a cyber home ( that allows the viewers themselves to influence and participate in all the daily programming for this 24-hour all music channel.

The true participatory design of the network has helped make it one of the most recognized cable brands among teens, according to Myers Media Brand Tracker. A recent report from Jupiter/Media Metrix showed that mmusa’s web site is perhaps the “stickiest” among cable networks catering to teens. The average visitor to spends more than twice the amount of time at the site than respective cyber homes for MTV’s music networks.

The result, according to Marc Juris, president of muchmusic usa, represents nothing less than a new paradigm for entertainment: “We listen to our viewers and do exactly what they say. We give them music by the people, not music by the company. We let them program the network, and they love us for it.”

With muchmusic usa’s “Oven Fresh,” for example, viewers vote online for the videos they want featured and those they want cast off the playlist of this daily show. The network’s “Dedicate Live!” broadcasts viewers’ video requests, along with their often racey and romantic e-mail dedications, within minutes of receipt. With the easy-to-use proprietary application “Voicifer,” teens can even dress up their posted comments by creating “talking” online characters, for which they choose everything from hairstyle and clothing to tattoos.

Viewers can also employ their PCs to become the “virtual VJs” of another show called “Tastemaker.” Here, the heart of the show is the videos that viewers submit to of themselves discussing their favorite artists and their personal playlists. Based on these video submissions, other viewers vote on who has what it takes to become a tastemaker, or VJ, and when tastemakers should be bumped out of the rotation. Fans have also used mmusa’s web site to create commercials for big name “Tastemaker” sponsors like Levi’s and Toyota. They also never fail to share their thoughts on the site’s various public comment areas.

A new deal with Liquid Audio provides viewers both free and pay downloads of tunes seen on muchmusic usa shows. A forthcoming offering through a deal with Rovion will let build custom player frames to dress up its wealth of download content. For instance, a download of an interview or music video from Pink could be viewed in a frame placed in the legendary belly of the rock diva, versus the square box shape of Real or Windows Media Players.

Two other new attractions are enabling muchmusic usa to employ the web to market to two fast-growing audiences: Latin Americans and singles.


Press Contacts

  • Matthew Frankel
    Rainbow Media

  • Sal Cataldi/Bill Lessard
    Cataldi PR