MTV Takes to the Web with 'Overdrive'

MTV has begun beta testing a new content delivery system based on instant access to anything and everything entertainment related. Initially delivering six specialized "channels" to its Web-based platform, "MTV Overdrive" will feature news, music, television, movies, and "The Lineup" featuring highlights of all channels and a continuous MTV news ticker.

The news channel will feature updates four times a day along with in-depth stories regarding artists, music, movies and social issues. Exclusive live features and music programming blocks will highlight the music channel, while the television channel will give users a "behind the scenes" look at some of their favorite shows.

Movie lovers will enjoy celebrity interviews and movie trailers in the movie section. Plans are already in the works for video game and personal style channels.

"My Playlist" gives on demand access to video's added via an "add to my playlist" button where available.

"With an incredibly high percentage of young people using broadband, it seemed essential to create a new hybrid screen with its own content to complement MTV, MTV2, MTV.com and *MTV," said Jason Hirschhorn, SVP of Digital Music & Media for MTV Networks.

To augment and support the new system, MTV is currently building a new studio in Times Square to develop exclusive content for MTV Overdrive.

Backing a strategic partnership between itself and Microsoft, content will be delivered as Windows Media Video with digital rights management, and MTV is working on an optimized version of MTV Overdrive for Media Center Edition PCs.

Users can also download a video optimizer application which will temporarily cache videos to improve playback by avoiding buffering. The service currently works only on the latest version of Internet Explorer.

MTV Overdrive is slated for release to the public on April 25. A glimpse of the service is available at www.mtv.com/overdrive.

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