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MTV, VH1 to integrate social media into mobile entertainment

MTV and VH1 have partnered with foursquare to integrate social gaming across television, online and mobile entertainment into a number of the networks? popular programming for a heightened fan-experience.

As part of the deal, MTV and VH1 will be the first media brands to launch "Celebrity Mode," a new foursquare tool for friending celebrities and increasing user engagement around on-air programming. Jersey Shore?s DJ Pauly D will be the first MTV celeb to use the new mode and fans are encouraged to follow him starting today for tips on the best fist-pumping spots nationwide .

?We recognize that our audiences are no longer just sitting on the couch watching our programming,? said Kristin Frank, general manager and senior vice president of MTV and VH1 Digital, New York. ?We know that they increasingly have a laptop and a mobile device with them while they watch and are consistently multitasking in their lives. 

?As leaders in understanding and delivering on multiplatfom consumption, this is the next evolution of that relationship we have with our viewers,? she said. ?We need to anticipate where our audiences are headed and engage them wherever they are. Location-based services are clearly a part of the social media landscape that is here to stay.

?This partnership allows our viewers to connect more deeply with our programming and the places they see in our shows and will hopefully inspire users to discover more about their own cities and others in their community.?

Celebrity Mode is a modified version of the standard foursquare model which allows users to follow a celebrity and let's high-profile users to choose whether check-ins are sent to inner-circle friends or to both friends and followers. 

Foursquare users can also view tips that the celebrities they are following have left behind at places all over the world.

The partnership will kick off with popular MTV shows, ?The Hills,? ?The City,? the upcoming ?Real World: New Orleans? and ?Jersey Shore? and will feature unique on-air integrations with programming that show talent will take off air to offer tips and more about their cities to their fans in real time through foursquare.

On VH1, the partnership will appear across ?The T.O. Show,? ?Fantasia For Real? and the upcoming ?What Chilli Wants.?

?This partnership gives us another opportunity to offer our viewers a chance to establish a deeper, more personal and direct connection to the personalities they enjoy in our programming,? Ms. Frank said. ?We get a presence in a new form of social media that adds another dimension to the ubiquitous status update.

?It also gives us the ability to create some really interesting new forms of content, whether that?s displaying check-ins graphically on TV, revealing tips from our personalities as a viewer moves through a city, or creating new types of location-based games that our audiences can play with, not to mention some fantastic sponsor integration opportunities,? she said. 

?We feel strongly that foursquare and location-based services will continue to grow and offer unique value to both our audience and our advertisers, which is why it?s important for us to help lead the way in this space.?

Beyond celebrity and show engagement, users will have the opportunity to earn programming-related badges and awards, increasing the socializing of MTV?s and VH1?s most popular shows.

Additionally, MTV and VH1 will work foursquare features and functionality into contextual executions for their online and mobile sites in order to engage fans across multiple platforms.

MTV and VH1 will also integrate foursquare into location-based sponsorship opportunities that they plan to offer to advertising partners.

As the lines between entertainment platforms continues to complement each other, MTV and VH1 will also look at producing dedicated short form foursquare programming that integrates show talent, fun tips and gaming elements in a valuable and contextual way.

?It?s definitely a bit of experimentation, but providing fans of our programming with a deeper look at where our show talent goes and how they live their lives is a no brainer,? MS. Frank said. ?Giving our viewers a glimpse into how celebrities discover a city can inspire our audience to explore theirs as well.

?To be able to see where Terrell Owens goes when he?s on the road can only make a bigger fan out of a viewer who wants to know more,? she said. ?And this scales for just about every show on VH1 and MTV. We think foursquare does this in a really fun, creative way that combines social media and gaming elements with location in a way that's informative and valuable, but also fun.?