MySpace got CES off to an early start Monday night by using its trump card - co-owner Justin Timberlake - to announce the company's new initiative, MySpace TV.
"We're ready to take television and entertainment to the next step by upgrading it to the social networking experience. Why text or email your friends to talk about your favorite programs after they've aired when you could be sharing the experience with real-time interactivity from anywhere across the globe?" he said in his brief presentation (see video from CNET above).
"Myspace TV puts viewers in control by allowing them to discover, share and comment on the programs they're viewing," the companies said in an announcement from CES. Viewers will be able to chat about what they are watching while they are viewing it and invite friends to watch with them and join fan communities.
Initial channels on the over-the-top TV service will be music-focused and use the network's library of 100,000 music videos and 42 million songs.
However, Myspace TV will eventually expand beyond music "to encompass movies, news, sports and reality channels, with a growing lineup of today's most popular broadcast and on-demand content," the partners said.
A companion app for Myspace TV will be available on tablets and smartphones.
"Myspace was the first successful social network because it allowed individuals to share their interests, listen to music, express their creativity and connect around the things they love," said Myspace CEO Tim Vanderhook. "Historically, TV has been a shared experience, as people gathered together to watch their favorite programs. Our belief was that we could enhance the TV experience by increasing viewers' ability to connect to both content and each other."
Added Myspace co-owner and singer/actor Justin Timberlake: "We're ready to take television and entertainment to the next step by upgrading it to the social networking experience. Why text or email your friends to talk about your favorite programs after they've aired when you could be sharing the experience with real-time interactivity from anywhere across the globe?"
He added: "As the plot of your favorite drama unfolds, the joke of your favorite SNL character plays or even the last second shot of your favorite team swishes the net, we're giving you the opportunity to connect your friends to your moments as they're actually occurring. This is the evolution of one of our greatest inventions, the television."
Viera Connect is Panasonic's connected TV platform, which offers access to Internet-based video-on-demand content and applications, ranging from news and fitness, to social networking and online gaming.