MTV is to launch District MTV, a multiplatform brand dedicated to fashion and lifestyle content.
The move signals the media owner’s overarching content expansion drive which will see it launch at least two other verticals in 2013.
District will launch in the coming days initially online with mobile-optimised sites to follow next month.
MTV will also consider the potential of extending the site to connected TVs and games consoles further down the line, according to Philip O’Ferrall, senior VP of digital at Viacom International Media Networks (pictured). “It is likely the bulk of the audience will be within online and mobile, but it is a very visually rich product which works well on a big screen, so I can’t see why in the future that wouldn’t happen,” he told new media age.
MTV has recruited a nine-strong UK editorial team to head up the content strategy for the site, appointing former Huffington Post’s senior editor Melanie Hick as editor-in-chief, who will head up District HQ in the UK.
MTV will harness celebrity talent across its music and pop culture-driven portfolio to help generate exclusive editorial and video content related to fashion and lifestyle categories.
Meanwhiel District, aimed at 18-to-34-year-olds, will draw from MTV’s extensive archive of music content to showcase past celebrity styles, higlighting the cyclical nature of fashion trends.
The site will feature content including “Daily Drop” news alerts, look-of-the-day polls, star-on-star interviews, along with profiles of emerging designers, icons, artisits, and video makers.
O’Ferrall said music and fashion are topics that go hand in hand, which renders the new brand a natural extension for its existing audience. Research it has conducted has shown a “natural synergy” between music and fashion, which it is keen to develop, he said. “This is one of many major launches we are planning. This is the fashion and lifestyle category and there will be at least two other categories to come next year. There are pilots already underway,” he said.
District will launch with a brand partner, yet to be confirmed. Meanwhile there will be extensive opportunities for integrated advertising opportunities, according to O’Ferrall.
The site is not currently transactional but O’Ferrall did not rule out the option to make it so further down the line. “We have a significant consumer products business and parternships with brands that sell products. Initally though it will be about supporting our brand partners so will be more about handing audience to them to trade,” he added.
The media owner recognised an increased focus on fashion and lifestyle from both its audience and brand partners, a year ago, which led to it extending its footpront in this area, according to O’Ferrall.
“The fashion sector is significant and ranges from very big global fashion networks, to more niche high-end magazine online properties. We are positioning this product in the centre of all those brands and with a unique view in the industry.
“It’s totally feasable for someone new to enter this market if they can tick all the boxes – but they must have the best editorial, access to talent and excellent delivery – these are the necessary ingredients to make it work.” he added.