MTV makes UK wait for social TV app

MTV: launches 'under the thumb' app in selected territories
MTV: launches 'under the thumb' app in selected territories

MTV has launched a social TV app, Under The Thumb, in some markets in Europe but is holding back a UK launch.

The "UTT" app has been developed by AKQA and launched on Apple and Android platforms in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland.

An MTV spokesman said the UK was "a massive market for us, and we will be making a big song and dance about it when we extend the licensing to the UK".

The company is aiming to license the app to a UK mobile network, possibly as part of a wider geographical deal, in preference to going down the direct to consumer route.

It already has a UK app available via Orange as well as news and show-based apps, including one for 'Geordie Shore', available across carriers.

The broadcaster has high expectations for the Under The Thumb app, which it said would: "Redefine social TV for today's digital age. It offers premium MTV content on-demand and enables fans to co-view the shows and chat with friends in-app, at the same time."

Users can watch shows on-the-go or pair their mobile device with any web browser on a computer, transforming the phone into a remote control and second screen. The app also links to Facebook to share comments and find exclusive content.

Michel Dupont, senior vice president of MTV owner Viacom International Media Networks said: "Today's millennial generation is 'always on', works to its own schedule and watches TV in its own way.

"We developed MTV UTT in order to provide fans with a richer and more immersive viewing experience, which increases engagement with the brand and ultimately helps to drive linear tune-in."

Features include popular MTV shows on-demand, co-viewing function with friends, chat, remote TV viewing and news and gossip.

Ben Jones, European director of technology at AKQA, said: "The app perfectly matches its audience’s behaviours and paves the way for the future of social TV.

It shows great originality from MTV and we were delighted to be involved in bringing this innovation to life".

Former RKCR/Y&R business director Jo Bacon joined MTV Europe as vice-president of marketing, creative and publicity in January.

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