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  VW2007 Notes:  Keynote - Viacom’s MTV Networks and Nickelodeon  
 
 
Posted 2007-03-28 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
At the Virtual Worlds 2007 conference today, I hastily typed out notes from the Keynote presentation. Following is a rather incomplete assembly of said notes. Caveat emptor.

KEYNOTE: Jeffrey B. Yapp, Executive VP, MTV Networks

MTV Goes Virtual
==============

"Mind bending virtual worlds"

Talks about how no network has ever done this "watch TV, live TV"

Describes, fluffs VLB/VH

These new media models provide insights into our audience... how the audience behaves in the virtual world indicates how they will behave in the real one.

Compares the growth of TV, cable, advent of MTV as "first outlet for youth culture" 25 years later MTV is one of the world's most-recognized brands... new media co-exists with old media...

getting into virtual worlds is risky but the reward is profound...
- 99% of the audience is exposed to the brand when they come in world 85% interact with the brands.

Matt Bostwick, SVP, Franchise Development, MTV Music Group
=====
"I'm more bullish about where this thing's going to go"
Compares VWs to TV, Cable, internet...
The key thing to me is knowing when the turning point is going to come...
Nov 2005: Startup venture formed within MTV. "How do you take consumers deeper into the brand than ever before?"
20% of your users typically create 80% of your revenue (traditional brands)
This thing is going to go in directions we can't even imagine today.
We saw that people were going so far down the rabbit hole that they were living completely separate lives.
Even the founders of this didn't anticipate the growth.
What happens when you combine 3D and TV? 4DTV.
We believe this is going to change how audiences and brands interact.
First broadcast of 4DTV was with VLB, then with VH.

Linear TV picture and sound plus 3D virtual world=4DTV.
"...like walking through the TV screen but not like a game in the traditional sense... do whatever you want... it's an open experience... a connecting bridge from TV to the [virtual] world." Immediate context for entry into world... link to TV is starting not ending point... The fourth dimension comes in where the TV leaves off--with people. Social networking on steroids. Drops the "Web 2.0" bomb. Last week in our worlds, people used emoticons 6.3 M times in a week. 320,000 invitations were sent, 90,000 were rejected. Initiated over 2M chats.

"THE AUDIENCE IS THE CONTENT" [name of machinima video]

Maybe some day you'll have a virtual reality TV show that's set in the virtual world...

Auction system established to allow user commerce.

Coming Up:
-- Guilds involving skill mastery
-- Click-though e-com (buy real item based on virtual one)
-- User housing
-- UI needs to be simplfied... we chose Makena because it's a good combo of IP protection and good interface...

600k registered users in 6 months.
-- Median age 20 years old
-- 85% female
-- 3M users projected
-- 64% of users comeback multiple times
-- daily visits of 300% from January
-- 72M minutes logged in 6 months
-- 370M minutes projected by year's end

"There's a real ad model here" Go deep, not just broad. How do we get them going from seeing an ad to interacting with your brand. Brand as content to be discussed and shared. Word of mouth has the highest credibility. Get them to buy your brand virtually. "4D Branding" complements the 4DTV model.

"The next level" of 4Dbranding
- Cingular kiosk to preview real phones
- earn Pepsi virtual gear.
- Pepsi zine found near pepsi machines
- Secret confessions campaign, capturing user generated content

Skill Ladder:
-- Integrate Pepsi brand into the DNA of the entire virtual environment.
-- Skills tied to Pepsi brand. You can't buy it, you have to earn it. Very hot topic in world.
-- We reached 95% of our user base 9 times, 33% of users interacted with the Pepsi brand. 6,000 people bought 11,400 bottles of virtual Pepsi. People were making Pepsi clubs.

What's Next
- scale up VMTV with multiple shows
- it's where our audience lives, plays and works
- virtual Pimp My Ride, working with Makena on this (car culture world based in virtual Van Nuys,California). Connecting Virtual Laguna Beach via a road?
- June 2007: Build a starter island, invite audience to come in and create the content.
- working with Doppleganger on new virtual world (starter island)-- shows video resembling the PCD Lounge...

Steve Youngwood, Executive VP, Digital Media, Nickelodeon
=====
My takeaway: 3D does not trump 2D. Youngwood says a virtual world should match a show's animation style (I didn't see this in Nicktropolis). Nickelodeon wants a dual revenue stream: From TV and from virtual worlds.

Neopets: A learning experience. Other things will come out from the studio that created this. 11M unique users, broad audience, global audience. A family audience. 50% under 14-15 years old. Calls it "alternative reality." User-generated content, huge virtual commerce community. 150M game plays a month, 150M communications between users monthly. Revenue from advertising, user chooses from branded locations. Later this year, there will be microtransactions based on virtual items. We have 6-7 years of knowledge, we know what's working and what's not. We are going to expand the user-generated content. We need more games.

Nicktropolis: The first kid-targeted multiple-media virtual world. [O RLY?]
2.4M registered users 1.3M users created rooms. 7.5M visits. 21M items exchanged. In three weeks, apparently. In the future there will be viewing parties, scavenger hunts, "much more in-world gaming."
 
     
 
   
 
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
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@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
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