MTV's "4D"

Just recently, at the Virtual Worlds 2007 Conference, Matt Bostwick of MTV spoke about MTV’s use of virtual worlds. They have created virtual worlds for the television shows Laguna Beach and The Hills and soon also for Pimp My Ride. Bostwick has stated the metrics for the ‘worlds’ created with technology:

[T]he metrics for the two virtual worlds were an advertiser’s dream: 64 percent of users come back regularly, users visit 1.4 times per week for an average of 37 minutes each time, and users have so far logged more than 72 million minutes in-world. [c-net article by Daniel Terdiman]

At the conference, Bostwick called the approach of extending the television show with a 3D virtual world as “4D”. Here is a description from an article:

The company is calling its new cross-platform strategy “4D.” Essentially, the approach will attempt to combine content from MTV Networks’ television shows with fully 3D virtual worlds and then put it all through a feedback loop in which people can interact with TV personalities and create content that becomes part of the shared experience. [virtual generations article]

So, “4D” is just another buzzword for transmedia, but it specifically refers to a virtual world extension of a television show, or traditional media. I’ve posted about a few transmedia projects that have virtual world components here. According to the stats, the worlds seem to be quite popular. What I’m interested in, however, is:

  • * how many of the virtual world visitors watch the TV show?
  • * how many are non-US visitors?
  • * how the experience of the virtual world affects the experience of the TV show?
  • * whether the content of the TV shows is being adapted at all for the virtual world iteration?
  • * how the two iterations interplay with each other?

If you have any answers to these questions let me know.

Relevant links:

Whoops, forgot again, thanks Cybster, for sending me one of the articles. 🙂

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