Star Apps: Michael Willett

High school was all fun and games for Ferris Bueller, but for 24-year-old actor Michael Willett ("G.B.F." and "United States of Tara"), it was more of a struggle. Thankfully he gets to relive high school as stylish and popular Shane, a modern-day Ferris Bueller, on MTV's new comedy, "Faking It" (Tuesdays at 10:30/9:30 central).

How would you describe "Faking It"? It's a comedy set at a high school, where the more unique you are, the cooler you are. My character, Shane, is the cool kid … Read more

Vevo on Chromecast, one dongle closer to world domination (Q&A)

Vevo, an MTV for the Internet age, is just getting started.

It now reels in 5 billion video views a month -- imagine the entire US population sitting down to stream Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball." Fifteen times over.

Vevo is in 13 countries, and it's on multiple platforms like Android and Samsung smart TVs -- and it just added one more.

On Tuesday, Vevo joined a short list of online entertainment ventures on Chromecast.

Since Google introduced its $35 HDMI dongle (read CNET's review) to easily fling Internet content onto televisions, Chromecast's life has been … Read more

MTV app takes on Shazam, Ticketmaster, Vevo in one

MTV, long ago the go-to place for music videos, has launched a music app that takes on elements of Shazam, Ticketmaster and Vevo.

The MTV Artists app, released Thursday, is the latest the Viacom network has rolled out after revamping the app infrastructure for all the Viacom music channels. It follows the release earlier this year of a separate MTV app that provides on-demand video of the reality and scripted programs that have become the mainstays of MTV's programming.

The MTV Artists app, however, is about music, and it's pooling the capabilities of a number of other apps … Read more

To get MTV doc sneak peeks, Miley fans can't stop tweeting

MTV is betting Twitter hasn't exhausted a fervor for Miley Cyrus yet.

After the singer's provocative performance at the Video Music Awards had Twitter in a tizzy, MTV is leveraging the star's social presence to drive more people to its MTV app.

After broadcasting a 60-minute documentary about Cyrus Wednesday night, MTV said it would release two clips from an extended 90-minute version of the film "Miley: The Movement" ahead of its slated airtime Sunday -- provided enough fans tweet the hashtag #UnlockMiley.

The catch is that the clips will only be available through the … Read more

Miley Cyrus at MTV VMAs all the rage on Twitter

Pop star Miley Cyrus was a hot topic on Twitter following her controversial MTV Video Music Awards performance on Sunday night.

According to new data from Twitter, Miley Cyrus' performance with Robin Thicke at the VMAs triggered 306,100 tweets per minute. For comparison, Justin Timberlake's performance during the award show registered nearly 220,000 tweets per minute. Drake's performance was close behind with 194,500 tweets per minute.

Similarly, Cyrus, who performed in what is being called a "suggestive" way, was mentioned 4.5 million times last night on Twitter. Timberlake and Lady Gaga followed … Read more

For MTV, making VMAs a most-tweeted event is so 2012

For MTV's Video Music Awards, tabulating a number of tweets is so passe.

For this year's award show, which is set to air Sunday, another record level of social engagement is a foregone conclusion for the Viacom youth-culture cable channel. A leader in integrating digital media with traditional televised events, MTV is focusing on the quality of how viewers interact by providing more tools for more dedicated activity -- and tweaking ways to explore the show outside the linear broadcast.

"Yes, there's a huge number of tweets about this show," said Colin Helms, senior vice … Read more

Like mocking James Franco on Twitter? Marketers think you do

With brands betting that women with stinky armpits will be tweeting about the MTV Video Music Awards, media giant Viacom and Twitter are betting marketers will want to court those reveling in the mockery of actor James Franco too.

Viacom, owner of such networks as MTV and Comedy Central, said Tuesday that brands like Degree Women and Pepsi have snapped up sponsorship slots for Twitter social-video-advertising campaigns linked to the "MTV Video Music Awards" later this month, with all the slots claimed within a week.

Now, Viacom and Twitter are creating new sponsorship slots for the "Comedy … Read more

MTV puts streaming video on Xbox, if you already pay for both

It may still be shy of Roku's hundreds and hundreds of channels, but Xbox Live wants its MTV -- and as of Tuesday it now offers the app.

The MTV app, which first rolled out to iOS in June, hosts on-demand streaming of shows, while integrating elements of its past apps, like video extras. In other words, it puts some "second screen" entertainment on the "first screen" through Xbox.

But to check out full episodes, users must have a subscription from a participating TV provider. Xbox Live Gold subscriptions also cost $5 a month with … Read more

The 404 1,308: Where we sweat it out with Sphere (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Enter Steve's contest: You can be the Audiophiliac for a day!

- I want my MTV, again.

- Poll: If digital audio is so great, why didn't it kill the LP?

- Steve interviewed producer-engineer Young Guru on what good sound sounds like.

- Steve endorses the Orbit Turntable on Kickstarter.

- The founder of the Bose Corporation dies at 83.

- Steve reviews the Sony MDR-7506 headphones, around since 1991 and still way better than most 2013 headphones.

- Follow Steve on Twitter.… Read more

Post-YouTube, MTV revives the video star -- briefly

MTV is music television again, for just one day. Actually, not even that.

MTV, the channel founded on the concept of music videos aired 24/7, is partway through a 12-hour stint as a music-centric enterprise again. It and fellow Viacom cable networks VH1 and CMT are showing videos, performances, music moments from history, and artist interviews from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET/PT Thursday, in an event they've branded Music Independence Day.

What killed music on MTV? YouTube? Google's video site is definitely a beneficiary of the dearth of music on TV, but its … Read more