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“The Hills” a cash cow for MTV

By M&C Smallscreen May 15, 2008, 4:37 GMT

“The Hills” a cash cow for MTV

04/28/2008 - Heidi Montag - - West Hollywood, CA, USA © David Gabber / PR Photos

Tired of Spencer and Heidi, Lauren and Audrina? Well, get used to hearing their names, your teenager loves them and has made the MTV un-reality series about a bunch of privileged layabouts and wanna be designers a top ratings hit.

“The Hills” extended season three finale posted a 3.79 P12-34 rating. It was the most watched telecast in its time period (Mon 10-10:30p) among P12-34 across all of television, even out-delivering broadcast.

Fans are flocking to MTV.com to view show and After Show clips, snagging them and embedding them on their own personal web pages and blogs.

Since the current cycle's premiere in March, “The Hills” on MTV.com has consistently ranked as the most popular area on the site, attracting an average of 775,000 unique visitors a week -- up 21 percent from Season 3 cycle 1 --  and generating nearly 50 million streams through MTV’s new premium video player, an increase of more than 27% from Season 3 cycle 1. 

What does this mean?

The show is raking in the dough, and there will be another season for sure.

Viewers are also delving deeper into the Hills lifestyle by going to Virtual Hills, where they spend an average of 30 minutes in-world per visit hanging out with cast members, designing their own fashions and meeting like-minded fans.

Fans have "become friends" with Lauren, Whitney, Audrina, Heidi and other cast members of “The Hills” by going to IAmOnMTV.com - a new social networking community from MTV that gives audiences the chance to interact with the cast and crew behind many of MTV’s most popular franchises. 

With over 758,000 unique visitors - users are spending an average of 16 minutes per visit conversing with the cast, leaving fan videos, responding to blogs and comments with their favorite MTV personalities. The cast has over 35,000 fans as the site continues MTV’s commitment to connect viewers more intimately to the MTV star’s they love as well as each other.

Cross-promoting music is big business. MTV takes the mystery out of the music heard during episodes of “The Hills” by ID-ing artists and their songs in real time as they play during the show. Fans can also visit the show’s music page to explore more about the artist and get a list of all the songs featured in each episode. Below are some of the impressive numbers to show how MTV continues to break up-and-coming artists in new ways:

“Saved” by The Spill Canvas increased 1660% in sales.  Their album, No Really I’m Fine increased 30% overall in sales.

"Show Me What I'm Looking For" by Carolina Liar sold over 3,000 in a week on iTunes.  Another single, "I'm not over," increased 537% in the same week.

“All The Weak” by A Cursive Memory increased 84% in sales.
“Come On Come Out” by A Fine Frenzy increased 797% in sales.

MTV has this generation's number when it comes to digital platform marketing, and integrating advertising into show premises and arcs.



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