MTV is far more than just a cable TV channel these days.
It's instead a mix of multiple screens ranging from mobile phone, to computer to tablet. And the network made that point crystal clear during its flagship Video Music Awards broadcast yesterday night.
The tip of this spear is MTV's WatchWith app. The app is designed for all MTV programming, including the VMAs. Many of its features are also available via mobile Web browsers as well.
The strategy was to offer viewers an "enhanced" viewing experience by offering additional information via these other screens as a way of providing more information the viewer otherwise unavailable via the telecast.
The app lets viewers choose different camera angles, and live feeds of behind the scenes action at select locations throughout the show. Think backstage, the photo line, green room, etc.
MTV also is quick to offer clips of show highlights that can easily be shared via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and so on. The proof of this concept was made during the infamous Kanye West interruption of the Taylor Swift acceptance speech in 2009.
And no social media strategy would be complete without Twitter. MTV's Twitter Tracker relies on this, offering users the ability to view all VMA-related Tweets. A new feature this year included integration into the seating map of the venue, so that viewers could see Tweets from the artists and other celebrities in the audience as they were posted in real time.
MTV also added a game-like feature of a leader board, to see who was tweeting the most, and a photo buzz tab that created a grid of the most-shared photos sent via Twitter. According to stats from the Twitter Tracker portion of the app, about 4 million Tweets were sent since 7 p.m. ET Sunday. We're checking in with MTV to get updated stats on all digital traffic from the night and will update as more info is available.
Meanwhile, expect to see a lot more of this multi-screen strategy from MTV in the future. MTV executive VP of digital media Dermot McCormack once said he'd program for a refrigerator if it had a screen on it.