Thursday, 7 June 2012

New Social Media Program Brings Online Audiences MuchCloser to Much Music

New Social Media Program Brings Online Audiences MuchCloser to Much Music

2012-06-07

As a way to reward fans for doing what they’re already doing online, MuchMusic has launched a new social media-based loyalty program MuchCloser.
The online program is being launched as a compliment to Much programs Degrassi and the MMVAs, the upcoming MuchMusic Video Awards show.

Launched by MuchMusic in partnership with Degrassi production company Epitome Pictures, much of the design and integration for the online program was executed in-house by the Much digital team, reports William Hussey, Manager, Developing Platforms.
“We are working with a vendor called Badgeville, whose expertise is in gaming and social rewards,” he told Mediacaster Magazine in an e-mail exchange, describing the underlying application as SaaS, a ‘software as a service’ offering.
The program offers added fan connectivity to exclusive content, favourite artists, programs, and on-air talent. But, by watching online videos, voting in polls, leaving comments and “Liking” Much on Facebook, registered users can accumulate points to earn ‘badges’ which unlock rewards, trophies and prizes as part of the MuchCloser community.
Badgeville works with content creators and broadcasters around the world, providing online solutions that go beyond the simple gamification of content. The company offers a platform of social networking hooks, reputation and analytic gauges tools and other tools designed to give its customers a solid way to measure and influence behaviour.
Badgeville recently announced it had some $25 million in an investment round led by Interwest Partners, bringing its total funding to $40 million to date. The company is based in Menlo Park, CA.
“By engaging our audience through our social rewards program MuchCloser, Much can provide unique and exciting opportunities to build customized programs around a client’s objectives and key messaging,” said Neil Staite, Vice-President and General Manager, Music and Entertainment. “MuchCloser is the perfect program to combine multi-screen content, social media and branded sponsorship opportunities.”
The online program is accessible via the mobile Web, and Hussey added that current plans are to roll it out on all platforms moving forward.
“We have plans to excite fans of our other shows, artists and events with custom tasks, missions and rewards,” he said, noting that the current implementation with Degrassi and the MMVAs are the focus – “and our best opportunity to engage the biggest number of users.”
Since its launch in early May, more than 23,000 users have signed up for the program, Much describes, adding that more than one in three people return daily. These users have performed more than 325,000 activities including watching, voting, reading blogs. Activity has increased by an average of 59% from week to week, with an average of more than 14 activities per user. Thus far, more than 116,000 badges have been issued.
Last week, Much introduced the MMVA Performers mission. This mission launched alongside the announcement that Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Nelly Furtado, and Marianas Trench were performing at the MMVAs. Users were encouraged to watch the most recent video from each artist and tell us what song they wanted to see that artist perform at this year's show. There was an immediate, 6% spike in the registered user base, and that number has grown by 21% since then, proving that the introduction of new tasks is a strong way to encourage sign up as well as maintain interest among existing users.
To coincide with the launch of Degrassi’s upcoming twelfth season in July, new tasks and missions specific to the show and its characters will be introduced. Users can earn points and custom rewards by watching show clips, sharing content, reading the blog, following characters on Twitter, and tuning into the show when it airs on Much. Users who engage with program content could earn the chance to be part of online chats with cast members, be the first to see exclusive content, and a chance to visit the set!
Hot on the heels of 2012 MMVA announcements, MuchCloser is launching more activities for users to engage in including the ‘MMVA 10K Mission’ and ‘Wristband Wizard Mission’. Both will challenge users’ knowledge of the MMVAs delivering a chance to win wristbands, as well as a shot at $10,000.
Below is a breakdown on the actions:
Task: A predefined activity established by MuchMusic. It includes:
  • Sign up
  • Leave a comment/upload content
  • Vote on polls
  • “Like” Much on Facebook
  • Read an article
  • Visit the site
  • Watch a video
  • Share a link
Mission: A group of tasks based on a theme that incrementally earn users more points.
  • Blog Addict
  • Video Vulture
  • Comment Machine
  • Watch DEGRASSI
Badges: By completing all of the tasks in a mission, users earn points which get displayed on their profile. Points raise their ranking in the Much community and can get them access to prizing, content and exciting experiences.

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