Mumbai: Viacom’s MTV Networks (MTVN) has acquired Social Project, Inc., its partner in building the Flux social media platform. Flux allows users to share and interact with content across a growing network of more than 1,000 entertainment, pop culture and music Web sites with more than 7.5 million registered users. Previously, MTVN held a minority stake in Social Project.
"In developing Flux with Social Project, we took a radically different approach by building a media-centric social network that’s distributed, yet connected — and that approach has proven to be very powerful with our audiences," said MTVN president global digital media Mika Salmi. "With this acquisition, we’ll continue and accelerate our vision for Flux, and connect our audiences to their passions and each other by helping them move content and their identity freely across the Web."
The acquisition marks the next step in the evolution of MTVN’s vertical entertainment strategy, as it will enable the company to accelerate the introduction of Flux across its online portfolio and further connect its Web sites and others through social media tools. MTVN will take a more active role in recruiting new external Web publishers to the Flux network. The company will also harness the power of Flux’s user data to enable targeting and enhance its Tribes vertical ad network initiative.
Users can join and immerse themselves in any site in the network, without having to register, request friends or recollect their favorite content multiple times. Users can also manage their profile from any Flux site, allowing them to upload, collect, rate, comment and share media across the network. Flux also allows users to send and receive content from their profiles on other leading social networks.
Additionally, Flux enables Web publishers to add social media features to their sites, giving brands of all sizes the unique opportunity to extend their reach by joining a network featuring MTVN’s world-renown brands. The Flux Publisher Network currently boasts more than 35 MTVN Web sites, ranging from its flagship destinations including MTV.com, ComedyCentral.com and Spike.com, to targeted vertical sites such as Jackassworld.com and TheDailyShow.com, to the recently launched ColbertNation.com, Atom.com and Soundtrack.MTV.com, among others. On MTV.com alone, the community has grown to more than 600,000 verified members, making it the largest Flux-powered site. In the five weeks prior to this year’s Video Music Awards, MTV.com added more than 250,000 members to the site — more than four times the average weekly rate prior to that period — after offering the opportunity for fans to nominate artists for each of the award categories.
As part of the announcement, MTVN named Social Media senior vice president and general manager Joshua Dern, a role in which he will oversee Social Project and Flux. Dern, who most recently served as vice president of MTVN Social Media Strategy and Operations, will report to MTVN executive vice president and creative director global digital media Kenny Miller.
Social Project and its 31 employees will remain based in Santa Monica, California.