Viacom’s MTV, in partnership with digital agency AKQA, has launched “Under The Thumb,” a new social TV app. It will let users watch MTV content on mobile devices, share it on the go with others, and then watch those on-demand programs simultaneously with those friends.
The service, developed by Viacom International Media Networks and AKQA in Viacom’s European HQ in Berlin, is available now as an Android and Apple iOS app. It will initially be available for free, and ad-funded in Europe, but it will also introduce paid sections with premium content. MTV says it currently has some 2.7 million users of its mobile products across seven countries in the region.
The co-viewing feature will let users not only watch the content on both on its mobile and PC devices, but users will also be able to tap friends and watch the same on-demand content simultaneously.
MTV is integrating the app with Facebook to connect into the service, but hasn’t chosen to use Facebook for the messaging system: it has created its own chatting service for the service so that they come in as real time, without interference from other services that might be part of a person’s Facebook stream. MTV is also putting in its news stream into the service, which runs entertainment news from the company’s site.
For now, Under The Thumb will only be available in Europe, with no plans to launch it in theU.S.“But of course theU.S.is aware and is following what we are doing. All the content is cleared and we have buy-in from at the Viacom level but no short term plans to launch it there,” Michel Dupont, SVP of MTV inEuropetold TechCrunch.