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…

 
 

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


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I want to travel to Washington, because I love the Twilight series and I'd love to see the place it's based on.”

—Female, 23, CA

Just how hooked on streaming are Millennials? According to a recent survey by TV tech firm Roku, 50% of streaming service users say they would give up caffeine over streaming, and 21% would rather give up brushing their teeth for a week than give up streaming. The most surprising: 70% claim they would give up social media than streaming. Not too surprisingly, Millennials are especially streaming-crazed: 59% of 18-34-year-olds say they’ve told others they were doing something else when they were actually streaming, and 40% have ditched other plans in order to watch content online. (We’ll be exploring what we’re calling The Binge Effect even further in our upcoming trend report!) (StreamDaily

Millennial women are making strides as entrepreneurs, and using their extra cash to make gains in the stock market, according to a new U.S. Trust study on wealthy Americans. When compared to previous generations, wealthy Millennial women are 3.4 times more likely to be entrepreneurs, and are more likely to have a higher or equal income to their significant other. About one-third of this group also say they are the primary decision maker when it comes to money within their households. They’re also investing more than wealthy Boomer and Xer females: “Millennial women are 2.8 times more likely to use hedge funds, 1.8 times more likely to try venture capital, and 3.1 times more likely to own impact investments.” (Glamour

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah isn’t going anywhere and he has Millennials to thank. Since his start as the new host of the nightly comedy news show , Comedy Central has seen live-viewing numbers drop by about 40% from the last days that Jon Stewart hosted. But they aren’t worried. Young viewers are definitely tuning in—just digitally. When it comes to streaming entire episodes, the new Daily Show is the most watched late night comedy show among 18-34-year-olds, surpassing even Jimmy Fallon’s highly rated Tonight Show. The network reasons that traditional TV consumption numbers are at this point irrelevant, because their “core audience are Millennials.”  (Forbes

A few years of decline among young movie-goers have inspired some to rethink the movie-going experience, but according to theatre ad companies, Millennials are in the midst of a movie-attendance resurgence. National CineMedia has reports that their Millennial movie-goer audience grew 16% in 2015, and is up 8% in 2016 so far. Their data shows that Millennials are 50% more likely to name movies as a passion than the general population, and are the age group most likely to purchase movie tickets in advance. According to a Ypulse monthly survey, 57% of 13-33-year-olds prefer to go to the movies on a night out. (Adweek

Lay’s is bringing Instagram into offline marketing and creating hyper-personal packaging with their “Summer Moments Made Better” campaign. The brand is asking consumers for their favorite summer moments, providing 200,000 codes that allow users to have their Instagram photos printed on a bag of chips, and win prizes. According to the brand: “during the summer, Lay’s plays an important role in [consumers’] lives and in their moments,” and they are hoping to see more social moments focused on food. A similar, smaller campaign, which we covered last year, received “overwhelmingly positive” response. (brandchannel

Quote of the Day: “I really want to visit Tokyo, Japan to see the culture behind the growth of video games, and to eat the food.”—Male, 29, MA

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