MTV Networks is ramping up its presence in the wireless space with a series of ringtone and mobile phone programming initiatives.

MTV Networks is ramping up its presence in the wireless space with a series of ringtone and mobile phone programming initiatives.

The network is launching a ringtone store through VH1.com (ringtones.vh1.com) that will showcase ringers and original wallpaper images connected to VH1 properties. Features include "Awesomely Bad Ringtones," "Ringtones' Most Metal Moments" and the "VH1 Classic" boutique.

To promote the effort, VH1 is launching an on-air and online campaign featuring Public Enemy's Flavor Flav, co-star of the network's new series "Strange Love." Flavor Flav has also recorded a series of exclusive ringtones for the store.

MTV also is introducing a branded ringtone franchise called "Made Hear" that features originally produced ringers from artists and producers. As previously reported, MTV is working with mobile entertainment specialist Zingy on the first "Made Hear" offering, a new slate of ringtones from Timbaland. Content will be offered initially through Virgin Mobile before being made available to other cell phone carriers.

MTV says "Made Hear" will be promoted on-air and online, as well as through MTV on Virgin mobile phones in the United States.

Elsewhere on the mobile front, MTV Networks will supply streaming video content to a new service from Verizon Wireless, set to roll out in February. The offering will feature three- to five-minute clips from MTV Networks properties like VH1's "Best Week Ever," Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and Nickelodeon's "Dora the Explorer." Music videos will not be offered at launch. The network will also produce original programming features specifically for the Web.

Van Toffler, MTV Networks Group President, says the rise of mobile entertainment gives MTV a new opportunity for brand extension. "For MTV Networks, we want to be where the audience is," he says. "They've embraced this medium wholeheartedly, and we want to create original content for them on this platform."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print