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Part 1: Viacom18’s Ali Hussein On Portals Vs Properties, Social Media Tie-Ups, Site Relaunch

Viacom18 is a joint venture between Viacom and IBN18 Broadcast (IBN18 has a 50% stake in Viacom18), and in India, it manages MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and Colors. Earlier, we'd spoken in detail with social networking site Orkut, and SMS community platform SMS GupShup. In this two-part interview with Medianama, Viacom18's Director (Digital), Ali Hussein, talks about integrating social media with TV shows, a portal versus product approach, Twitter, working with multiple social networks, monetization online (and bundling with TV), mobile video, online music and future plans that will unfold its converged digital strategy. Which are your top properties and what is your approach towards the Digital Media space? Unlike a lot of platforms or brands that have portal strategies, ours has been slightly different - we develop shows such as Roadies 7 which was a show on-air and then became a large digital consumer engagement platform for us. There is a strategy for content, how we market it, what are the kind of brands that will come aboard and work with us for that particular show. Second kind of show is what we call digital shows. Roadies Battleground is an example - it was completely conducted on the digital platform and then had a life on television. So it's actually the reverse. Whether it's a platform like Twitter or Facebook or Orkut, we generally partner with them to aid a certain purpose we have for a digital or TV show. For us, platforms used are completely defined by what the product is.…

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