MTG creates digital hub in VOD drive

Modern Times Group is to create a new ‘digital hub’ to accelerate the pace of its innovation and expansion into digital distribution.

The new unit, MTGx, will he headed by MTG executive VP and chief digital officer Rikard Steiber. The division will be charged with developing video-on-demand experiences, building a portfolio of new entertainment services and providing centralised digital skills and platforms for the group across all markets and companies.

MTGx will comprise four pillars:

  • xPlay will be focused on advertising-funded online catch-up services for its TV channels and vertical offering like sports and music content as well as the online pay TV service Viaplay.
  • xVentures will be responsible for building, partnering and investing in a portfolio of new entertainment services like the second screen service and the online gaming portal Viagame. As part of this effort xVentures will establish presences in start-up communities in several countries, with an initial focus on Sweden, the UK, and the US, to find partnership and investment opportunities.
  • xCreations will comprise a digital production hub for the creation of “digital first” content for web and mobile platforms as well as extending the life cycle of traditional linear TV content by utilizing the opportunities presented by the digital environment and social media.
  • xLabs, will be the R&D centre for the entire hub.

MTG has begun a process of hiring talent and says it has made a number of key hires from the likes of Google, Spotify and Universal Music in recent months.

“We want to create personal and social user experiences that connect people to the entertainment they love the most from their favourite movies, sports, series, music, and games, and I look forward to building MTGx as an integrated part of MTG’s digital activities going forward,” said Steiber.

The news comes on the same day MTG’s content arm MTG Studios acquired UK-based distributor DRG for £15 million (US$23.5 million) and paid an undisclosed fee for Norwegian prodco Novemberfilm.

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