Music Choice Says Viewers Responding Enthusiastically to New Interactive Network, SWRV
--Imira, Enne Team on Interactive TV Series for Children
--MySpace, Fox Inviting Viewers to Audition for New Roles in "Glee"
--"Sims" Creator, Will Wright, Said to Be Teaming with Current TV on Interactive TV Series
Multiplatform music programmer, Music Choice, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know that its new 24/7 interactive music video network, SWRV, has generated 500,000 viewer interactions in 750,000 homes since its launch last month. According to the company, 54% of those interactions were via the Web (http://www.swrv.tv) and 46% via the phone.
The SWRV program that has enjoyed the highest percentage of viewer interactions to date, Music Choice says, is "Level 10": according to the company, the show is "all about keeping your favorite videos at the top of the list. The video with the most votes makes it to Level 1 and plays next," the company explained in an email to [itvt]. "As the show progresses, viewers vote via text and online to decide the next video. Depending on the number of votes the video receives, the ranking will change. The Level 1 video will play next and the Level 10 video will be eliminated." Other ways in which SWRV allows viewers to interact include creating and starring in video dedications, voting for the next video to play, and, Music Choice says "even taking over their own show."
In other interactive TV programming news:
- Two Spanish companies, Imira Entertainment and Enne Entertainment Studios, have announced that they are co-producing a cross-platform interactive TV series for children aged six to 12, according to a report in C21 Media. Entitled "Escape Hockey," the show tells the story of a space traveler who is imprisoned on another planet and who must win an intergalactic hockey match in order to gain his freedom and return to Earth. The interactive version of the show, which will be produced alongside the regular version, will invite viewers on the Web, on games consoles and on interactive TV platforms to play a series of broadcast-synchronized "Watch and Play" games that are related to its plot. "We have worked very hard in the past years to create a new format that adds value to kids using more interactive tools," Javier Martinez, the show's executive producer, said in a prepared statement. "This is how we created the 'Watch and Play' format and we strongly believe that it will help broadcasters to extend their reach to new media and create loyalty around brands."
- In a posting on its corporate blog, Tuesday, social networking company, MySpace, announced that it is teaming with sister company, Fox, on a nationwide online casting search for new characters that will appear in the second season of the show, "Glee." Viewers aged 16-26 are invited to submit an audition video at myspace.com/gleeauditions, explaining why they want to appear on the show and demonstrating their singing ability. According to MySpace, the casting search, which runs through April 26th, "opens the doors for integrated promotions that put the audience (yes, YOU) front and center in the decision-making process for some of today's top television shows" (note: the company's blog post does not elaborate on this somewhat intriguing statement).
- "The Sims" and "SimCity" creator, Will Wright, is teaming with Current TV on an interactive TV series entitled "The Creation Project," according to an article by Eric Goldman in the videogaming trade publication, IGN. "What we've seen suggests users will submit story ideas online and via mobile devices," Goldman writes. "This will lead to the users then discussing the submissions and voting for their favorite. Finally, the winning storyline is actually produced and will air as two half-hour episodes." Wright is apparently hoping that the show's user-generated content will be catalyzed by an online and mobile application, dubbed the "StoryMaker Engine," that allows users to quickly turn their ideas into storyboards, using their own uploaded images, or a collection of pre-existing images.