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…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I share my selfies by making it my profile picture.” —Female, 23, IL

It’s time to let go of the stereotype that men hate shopping: men are actually spending about $10 more than women on clothing and accessories each month, according to a new study. Menswear is expected to expand by 8.3% in the next year, 4.1% more than womenswear. Not surprisingly, Millennial guys are approaching their fashion and shopping differently, with males under 35-years-old more likely to purchase athletic and athleisure styles. Younger male consumers are also 27% more likely than those over 35-years-old to be influenced by sales staff. (The Muse)

Second screen marketing was one of the big trends of this Sunday’s big game, and Instagram reports that 38 million users engaged with Super Bowl content 155 million times that day. Social media vendor Engagement Labs looked at likes, comments, and clicks to see which brands were the event’s Insta-MVPs and declared Pokémon, Disney’s The Jungle Book,Squarespace, SoFi, and Acura the top five performers. Pokémon asked viewers to call out all the Pokémon references their ad in the Instagram comments, and The Jungle Bookposted a link to the full movie trailer on Instagram right after airing it on TV. (Adweek

Blend is a texting app “built for Gen Z,” with plans to use their popularity on college campuses to grow into competition for WhatsApp and iMessage. The app was created by two college drop-outs who secured $3 million in funding after the release of a controversial promotional video made the app go viral on the former students’ Michigan campus. Their biggest challenge will be retaining Millennials and teens in the crowded messaging space, and Blend is relying on their “snappy design” and focus on photos and video sharing to get them on top.
(San Francisco News

Millennials know you think they’re narcissistic—and they think so too. New research shows Millennials agree that they are more self-involved than older generations: 18-25-year-olds rated themselves a 61.4 (on a 100-point scale) for narcissism, and rated those 60 years or older at 38. However, older respondents “in particular piled on Millennials for their narcissism, while absolving their own age group,” and those 60 and older ranked Millennials as 65.3 on the narcissism scale, and put themselves at 26.5. Unsurprisingly, the study notes that Millennials don’t appreciate constantly being told they’re narcissistic. (Mental Floss

Millennials are looking for something to talk about on social media, and IfOnly is providing the exclusive experiences they can be proud to broadcast. When we first wrote about the site their target users were those with a lot more to spend, but over the past few months they’ve been adding “amazing but highly accessible” offerings—like playing with pandas at a zoo—for a broader audience, priced at $50-$125 per person. IfOnly believes that Millennials on social media will pave the way to their success: “they’re on social media channels, where it’s not fun to post about a belt but it is fun to [post a picture, saying], ‘Check me out backstage.’” (TechCrunch

Quote of the Day: “I am planning to give an iPhone 6s as a gift for this Valentine’s Day.”

—Male, 31, NY

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