Music Choice Premieres Interactive Channel

Music Choice is hoping teens and young adults will sing the praises of its new fully-interactive 24/7 SWRV video music channel, which it launches Feb. 10.

The ad-supported channel, which will be available to Cox digital-cable customers in the MSO's New England and Virginia systems, allows viewers to submit user-generated content, vote for videos and program several shows through mobile phone or online uploads, according to Dave Del Beccaro, president and CEO at Music Choice.

"The difference between this and other music video networks is that you can interact with it on some basis at all times, it doesn't require any cable technology - its all through the laptop and PC - and the viewers participate in the network on a very fundamental scale," Del Beccaro told Multichannel News. "This generation doesn't only want to view their content whenever and wherever they want but they want to participate and help formulate the content."

Del Beccaro would not reveal the network's rate card, but said that the fee "is not extraordinary expensive." He added the network is close to several other MSO distribution deals, but would not identify them.

Operators distributing the Philadelphia-based Music Choice's 42 million subscriber VOD service and/or its 45 million subscriber-based audio cable channels will receive a license fee discount off the SWRV service, according to Del Beccaro.

SWRV affiliates will also be able to offer its subscribers the channel live online through its site.

The network will launch 10 interactive shows featuring primarily mainstream pop and hit-driven music videos. Shows include Majority Rules in which viewers get to choose from one of three videos to air next on the channel. "While one video is playing, viewers can vote from three choices to determine what plays next," Del Beccaro said. "Within milliseconds of closing off the votes we can start the next video," he said.

Another show, Vidi-cations, allows viewers to personally upload a video dedication. Viewers can go to the network site to see what videos will be played during the show and position their dedications appropriately. The network will not only send notifications to viewers as to when their videos will air but will also provide an autolink to their Facebook page, he said.

A third program, SWRV Takeover, allows a viewer to take over the channel for 15 minutes to create a personal introduction for each of three videos they've picked to air during the segment.

Viewers who don't get their videos on-air will still get to post the productions on their Facebook pages.

"We want viewers to feel like this is their network - they create the feel and personality to it," he said. "We want to give them a feeling of control that they've never had over a network and socialize it."

Del Beccaro said the SWRV launch positions the company to best serve its target 12-24 audience's music video needs by giving them the opportunity to virtually program the channel.

"We're positioning ourselves as the next generation's music company," he said. "This generation wants to interact with their product so with SWRV there isn't any specific formula to it."

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.