TV moves to the internet

BBC News: MTV is launching a free "channel" on the internet that will show some of the station’s TV programmes, including reality hit The Osbournes. The MTV Overdrive website will let users with high-speed computer connections watch music videos and extended programmes on demand. The website is currently being tested and will launch fully on 25 April.

A Reuters report yesterday said the new MTV offering will host continuous MTV News updates, artist interviews, music videos, live music performances, original and newly created short-form programing, MTV and MTV2 show footage, movie trailers and more.

The report quotes MTV Networks president Van Toffler saying, "It’s about time we caught up with the demands of young people," and characterizing the free service as a hybrid of short-form linear viewing with an on-demand experience, noting that the technology previously had not been available for MTV to offer this type of programing.

Just as mainstream print media is getting into new media channels like blogs to fully engage with their readership, so mainstream broadcast media is now beginning to embrace ways of reaching their audiences in ways that appeal to those audiences. Plus, of course, recognizing the definite shifts in how people want to consume their news, information and entertainment, especially youth audiences.

Here in The Netherlands my ISP, XS4ALL, has started new trials of broadcasting television via broadband. In an announcement yesterday, XS4ALL said:

In co-operation with Stichting DSL tv, XS4ALL is beginning a third six-month trial of television via (A)DSL. At the end of the trial a decision will be taken on whether DSL-TV will be introduced as a standard service.

The previous trials revealed a sustained high level of interest in television via DSL. In 2002, DSL-TV was viewed through more than 68,000 DSL connections; in 2003, the figure exceeded 170,000.

Since the last trial the potential for viewing television via DSL has increased considerably: the bandwidth of many DSL lines has more than doubled and it is easy to connect a television to a PC.

The latest Dutch internet TV experiment is a paid-for service (you have to subscribe) and includes mainstream media channels CNBC, Euronews and Travel Channel.