I’ve always been a fan of the underdog, so maybe that’s why I feel obligated to wave the pom-poms for Myspace. They’ve got a new team, a legitimate celebrity backer in Justin Timberlake and a snazzy new goal, to become the home of what’s new in entertainment.
Yesterday, Justin Timberlake took the stage at CES 2012 to announce a partnership between Myspace and Panasonic. They call it Myspace TV. Not a groundbreaking name, but it says it.
Myspace TV will be a series of channels accessible through the new Panasonic VIERA connected HDTVs. Each channel will have a social component that will allow viewers to chat with friends about what they’re seeing in real time.
Initially, it will be about the music, to go along with the Myspace.com revamp. Then, they plan to expand into movies, sports and broadcast TV.
Here’s a condensed version of Justin’s introduction at CES:
“We’re ready to take television and entertainment to the next step by upgrading it to the social networking experience. Why text or email your friends to talk about your favorite programs after they’ve aired when you could be sharing the experience with real-time interactivity from anywhere across the globe? As the plot of your favorite drama unfolds, the joke of your favorite SNL character plays, or even the last second shot of your favorite team swishes the net, we’re giving you the opportunity to connect your friends to your moments as they’re actually occurring. This is the evolution of one of our greatest inventions, the television. And, we no longer have to crowd around the same one to experience it together.”
In the uncut version, seen on YouTube, Justin makes a reference to a famed “box” sketch on SNL. The joke falls flat but Justin keeps trying, bless ‘em. I don’t think this was quite his audience.
According to the press release, the social activity will be handled via a smartphone or tablet app. If that’s the case, then it’s really not much more than GetGlue, Miso, and several other apps are already doing. It works, but it feels like two experiences, what’s happening on TV and what’s happening on your phone.
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It does sound like Myspace TV is working on a way of using social with on-demand programming. That way, it doesn’t matter what time zone you’re in, you can all still watch together. That would be new and different.
What Myspace TV needs to do, is find a way to bridge the gap and make social viewing a seamless experience. I believe they can make it happen. Why? Because more than anyone else in the field, they’re motivated by the power of so many people expecting them to flop. Not me!
Myspace! Myspace! Rah! Rah! Rah!