MTV is starting a digital content lab called MTV Other to produce short-form programming that will live on its new iPhone and iPad app as well as MTVOther.com.
The network described the studio as it introduced the app, which will also let viewers stream full episodes of shows like "Catfish" and "Teen Wolf" and interact with programming as it progresses. But the shorts will be available to anyone, while the series from TV will be restricted to users who also subscribe to cable or satellite TV.
MTV Other will serve as a platform to experiment creatively and develop new talent, according to Colin Helms, senior VP-connected content group at MTV. "MTV Other gives us the freedom to try different ideas and bring new creators into the MTV ecosystem," Mr. Helms said, adding that they are looking for loud, funny and weird ideas.
MTV Other will begin with the sketch comedy series "Inside Joke," the animated "Rock Stories" and a food show called "Late Night Munchies." All episodes will be available at once, allowing viewers to "snack" on content as they wish, Mr. Helms said. Additional series will roll out later in the year.
While the ultimate goal isn't necessarily to find the next hit for the network, Mr. Helms said there is potential to move some of these shows to TV.
MTV Other will serve as a content creation hub not only for MTV, but also for advertisers, Mr. Helms added. It is now working with Starcom to develop content with its clients.
"Content fuels experiences, and we're excited to be working with MTV to explore new content formats, production models and measurement," said Amanda Richman, Starcom USA President, Investment and Activation.
MTV is the latest network to set up an incubator for digital content. The CW introduced a digital studio last fall, eventually branding it as CW Seed during its upfront presentation in May, and plans to use it to experiment with genres not currently on its schedule, such as animation, game shows and comedies.
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