MTV At 30: Still Pushing Boundaries And Pioneering New Forms Of Media

I Want My MTVMTV turned 30 on Monday, but the network seemed to be the only one not interested in celebrating its major milestone.

Let’s face it, turning the big 3-0 is pretty much the end of youth, but there is no other TV network as synonymous with youth culture as MTV. It’s an institution that has remained relevant to fickle teens and college students for three decades. I can’t think of another that has, year in and year out, maintained that position…except maybe jeans and t-shirts.

MTV has always pushed the boundaries of what is acceptable, sometimes failing, but often spawning major trends: animation for 20-somethings (Liquid Television was a precursor to Adult Swim), reality TV (‘nuf said), news for young people (even Jon Stewart rose to fame on the network)...the list goes on and on.

There are those who lament that the network isn’t what it was 30 years ago, but, frankly, it shouldn’t be what it was then because young people today aren’t the same as young people decades ago. The changing media landscape forced MTV to “evolve and figure out” its new role.

That means, in part, that MTV doesn’t show many music videos any more (though its sister networks do) because times have changed. There are more than enough ways for people to find music videos, as Kurt Loder points out, and MTV specializes in giving viewers what they can’t get anywhere else.

These days, that includes a mix of reality programming and a revival of some old hits. For the nostalgic viewers, the network is bringing back “Beavis and Butthead,” which has the potential to be just as relevant today as it was back in the 90s because the show comes with a new twist. Instead of commenting on videos, the pair makes fun of everything on the network, from music to reality shows. Their sardonic wit is a perfect…

 
 
Ask Millennials some questions.
Log in to get started...

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I unplugged from Facebook and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is such a time suck. I have other online sites that I can browse to relieve stress or take a break from work without having to see what some random kid in high school is eating for breakfast.” —Female, 23, PA

Last summer we noted Motorola’s vision of tattoos as password and identity authentication in our spotlight on the future of passwords, and now the first iteration has hit the market. Motorola teamed up with VivaLnk to create temporary tattoos—circuits wrapped in adhesive—that can unlock the Motorola X phone with a simple scan. Though the wearability is impressive, lasting up to five days on skin even through exercise or being submerged in water, remember that wearable tech must be beautiful, and the copper swirled fingerprint has ended up “looking a bit like a mole.” (TechCrunch)

Reebok and…bacon? Though health and fitness might not be synonymous with salted meat, Reebok is celebrating its athletes in the 2014 Reebok Crossfit Games with a Paleo diet-friendly treat. Targeting the “tastebuds of the Crossfit community,” Reebok’s pork product is free of nitrates, preservatives, MSG, and sweeteners, and will be delivered to attendees in boxes or via a branded food truck. Audience members can follow the truck on social media with the hashtag #reebokbacon to catch prizes and special bacon menu items rolled out throughout the games. (Creativity OnlineFast Co. Create)

Having grown up in the age of internet piracy and file sharing, many Millennials treat music and photo copyrights as flexible, downloading and swiping various content to share on social media. But using copyrighted music in videos shared with over 6.7 million fans has caused trouble for Michelle Phan, the makeup tutorial YouTube star who is now being sued by Ultra Records. Ultra owns rights to music from a slew of EDM artists that Phan has used in her tutorials, but some artists are tweeting out in support of her and challenging copyright laws to modernize. (Adweek)

Campbell's hit a peak in popularity with the Boomer generation, but instead of reviving the soup brand for Millennials in their 20s and 30s, Campbell's is looking to create an entirely new snack line for the kids of Millennial parents. The company will expand its Bolthouse Farms brand into Bolthouse Kids and tap into the tremendous growth of fresh-packaged snacks made for the on-the-go lifestyle of Millennial moms. Fruits, veggies, ready-made smoothies, and even Greek yogurt are in the works for hungry Plurals. (WSJ)

We identified Next Level Fandoms and Pre-Dev Engagement as two major Millennial trends in our Q3 2013 Quarterly Report, and Hasbro has joined these forces together for its SuperFanArt project. Dedicated fans can design and buy 3D printed figurines inspired by their favorite Hasbro brands, the first being My Little Pony. Encouraging the “mini-creator mindset” opens the door for pre-dev engagement and could create excitement around new Hasbro products and custom toys. (Kidscreen)

Looking for a quick Millennial stat to get you up to speed before a strategy session? Searching Ypulse is the best place to start! Silver and Gold members have access to 10,000+ articles, 20,000+ curated Millennial news items, 2 billion peer-generated opinions from our mobile, social Q&A network, and thousands of statistics on Millennials drawn from our bi-weekly national survey of the generation. Your search can begin and end with us. (Ypulse)

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies