MTV to add fan livestreams to music programming in 2017

If you can't beat Facebook Live, embrace it.

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Nick Summers
October 25th, 2016
In this article: av, entertainment
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Getty Images

To entice millennial viewers, MTV is experimenting with a hybrid TV format that combines traditional programming and user-created livestreams. Back in June, MTV Music tested a slot that allowed fans to broadcast their dance moves on national TV. A specific hashtag meant the show's producers could see people's livestreams in real-time and pick the best ones to accompany each music video. Now, MTV Australia is planning a full-time show that will utilize the same concept next year. It doesn't have a name, but Viacom -- MTV's owner -- says it will be a "truly innovative and immersive fan experience never seen on television."

The experiment is hardly surprising, given the rising popularity of livestreaming tools such as Periscope and Facebook Live. TV executives -- particularly those targeting younger viewers -- are rightfully concerned with their ability to attract eyeballs. Rather than fight them head on, MTV wants to embrace their utility and modernise its linear TV channels in the process. The strategy makes some sense, given that 24-hour music channels are often used for parties and other social gatherings. Giving people the chance to participate, no doubt to comical effect, could build on this use-case and give it an advantage over alternatives like YouTube.

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