MTV’s announcement this week that it will be giving young people across the country Nokia N95s and using Flixwagon to stream live video reports from caucuses and polling stations during next Tuesday’s multi-state primary shows that there’s still plenty forward-thinking going on at the network once a pioneer of the cable broadcasting vanguard.
All the video, such as this report from Obama campaign headquarters in North Dakota, will be available on MTV’s think community news site as well as on Flixwagon itself. The network does promise to break into their broadcast programming with both live reports and pre-recorded segments from the field every hour or two over the course of the day.
Flixwagon is very new to the live-video table — the public alpha launched just this week (see our profile of the company). That the Boston- and Tel Aviv-based company managed to land such a client out of the gate is a good sign, though it’ll be interesting to see how they handle a sudden flood of users.
As for the correspondents, applicants were recruited from around the country starting in January to represent a diverse set of political views and local focus. The “Street Team” has been reporting since January. Besides the web and broadcast, viewers can also access coverage via a WAP-based mobile site.
MTV joins plenty of other sites in offering online video news and views on the election, though they have an enviable promotional advantage in broadcast reach. The Uptake and Veracifier have also been reporting on the election and webcasting live video reports, and it looks like Small World News is also beginning to recruit correspondents.
MTV’s project is being funded in part by a Knight News Challenge grant focused on digital newsmaking. But the network also recently shuttered its viewer-power cable network Flux in the UK, and Current isn’t exactly finding viewer-produced video news profitable.