MTV.com Serves Nearly 170 Million Streams In First Two Months Of ’07; Overdrive Gets Overridden

With all the emphasis on external video deals that did (Joost) and didn’t (YouTube) happen, it’s a little easy to forget that among the major goals at MTVN are getting traffic to its own sites and delivering media under its own auspices. Some record numbers that you’re seeing here first — the company plans a release Monday — suggest those goals are being accomplished. (Caveat: these are based on internal numbers.) Granted, one or two months of metrics do not a trend make but they start to tell an interesting story. From MTVN’s perspective, it shows more online engagement with its flagship brand.
First a branding note — launched with much fanfare in 2005, MTV Overdrive is no longer being singled out as the broadband brand. It’s all mtv.com now although Overdrive still shows up. I’m told that the decision on whether to change the branding for broadband channels is being made on a network-by-network basis — VH1’s VSpot stays; so does CMT Loaded for now although I wouldn’t be surprised if it switches to cmt.com.
MTV.com: MTV credits a mix of programming including MTV Unplugged: KoRn, Grammy coverage, and online material that complements broadcast shows. The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Duel live show in January was the most successful streaming event ever for the site.
— mtv.com delivered a record 84 million video streams in January (thanks to whoever wrote this for not trying to equate delivery with viewership), then followed that up with 85.1 million in February despite the fewer number of days. January streaming rose 258 percent over the previous year; February was up 228 percent over 2006.
— mtv.com averaged 3 million streams a day in February.
— The increases are hand in glove with an uptick in uniques. In January, mtv.com attracted a record 24.2 million uniques for the month — up 56 percent over the same period in 2006. MTVN isn’t releasing total mothly uniques for February but for a month-to-month comparison, it averaged 1 million uniques daily in January while in February. it averaged 1.1 million uniques daily.
— Feb 26-March 4 was the second-highest ever for the site with 7.1 million uniques; the highest was VMA week late last August.
— On the mobile front, MTV Mobile delivered 1 million streams in each of December and January. One piece of programming that contributed: a first-look at a song by Fall Out Boy that wasn’t performed in the group’s MTV Live concert.
A couple of notes: as we’ve mentioned before, autoplay contributes to stream numbers whether or not someone is paying attention. For instance, as I’ve been writing, I had the sound off and forgot that I was streaming Comedy Central’s Motherload. I’m not sure how many clips streamed before I figured it out. (Luckily, I did turn the sound on just in time to hear Stephen Colbert on the subject of Captain America’s demise.) It simply underscores that we have absolutely no real idea of whether a stream is being listened to or viewed.
— Yes, the numbers rose slightly at mtv.com after the cease and desist was delivered to YouTube. It’s incremental compared to what the site did in January but still interesting. On the other hand, it’s not very meaningful in terms of gauging the effect.

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