MTV Hybrid Hits Overdrive

MTV: Music Television plans to launch a hybrid linear and video-on-demand channel called MTV Overdrive on its Web site April 25.

Overdrive will contain free content, and executives said it will be supported with advertising revenue, mainly in the form of 15-second commercials to run between segments.

Overdrive will contain six programming channels. “The lineup” will be the main channel, and will promote a wide variety of content, including news, music-video content and movie clips.

The “News” channel will feature clips updated four times daily from MTV News; “Music” will contain music videos; “On TV” will feature behind-the-scenes content from MTV shows; and “Movies” will showcase movie trailers and celebrity interviews.

MTV executives said that they will also add additional channels focused on topics such as video-game culture and personal style.

MTV senior vice president of digital music and media Jason Hirschorn said the network may partner with high-speed data services to market the service, and possibly develop premium Overdrive content. But he said that MTV will not share ad revenue from Hybrid with cable operators or other distributors.

Overdrive may eventually add programs from other networks in its portfolio, which includes VH1, Black Entertainment Television, Comedy Central and Spike TV, according to MTV Networks Group president Van Toffler.

Initial Overdrive advertisers include Microsoft Corp., Procter & Gamble and Sony Pictures. MTV is building a new studio at its Times Square headquarters in New York to support Overdrive, with content such as regular updates from MTV News.

Online music services such as Real Networks’ Rhapsody, which is distributed by Time Warner Cable and other MSOs for about $10 monthly to subscribers, also offer customers on-demand music videos.