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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Quote of the Day: “I like going to eat out because I like supporting local businesses.” –Female, 31, WA

Millennials are foodies, but brands might be missing the opportunity to target their plate obsessions. Only 11% of 18-29-year-olds feel like food advertising is aimed at them, according to a recent survey in the UK. If brands want to change that number, they’ll likely have to take a different approach: 47% of this age group uses social media for recipe inspiration (#foodporn) and they reportedly share pictures of food around three times a week. Ypulse’s own research has also found they are adventurous eaters, with 89% of 13-32-year-olds open to trying new foods. (Marketing Magazine)

Should students be learning while standing? Standing desks are becoming more common in the workplace, and now an elementary school in California is swapping out traditional desks for standing desks after the founders of San Francisco CrossFit discovered their own children were sitting for up to six hours a day. Studies have shown that using standing desks correlates with increases in both concentration and daily calories burned, and could dramatically help in the battle against childhood obesity. (Fast Company)

A new kind of hotel is attracting young consumers in droves by going minimalist and offering more affordable, interesting places to stay. These “select service” hotels are the fastest growing segment of the industry and big brands’ answer to Airbnb. The hotels accommodate Millennials’ travel preferences by cutting out amenities like room service, offering more social spaces, and incorporating local elements in food and design. (BuzzFeed)

Sometimes sex doesn’t sell. Abercrombie & Fitch has been known for pushing the boundaries of sexualized marketing, but have now announced that they’ll be stopping the use of shirtless models and sexy images on bags, in-store photos, and other marketing materials. The retailer will also be ending their policy to hire sales staff based on “body type or physical attractiveness.” The changes are a part of the brand’s focus on becoming more customer-friendly after falling out of favor with young consumers. (WSJ

The story of a 5-year-old’s transition from girl to boy has gone viral, sparking conversation around transgender children. The segment, “Jacob’s Journey,” has been viewed over 11 million times on the show’s Facebook page, and is a piece of NBCNightly News’ six part series examining how families raise transgender kids. Jacob Lemay was born female, but his family has embraced his male identification, saying, “He's a different person, he's becoming himself." (Business Insider)

By searching Ypulse.com, you can quickly find the Millennial and teen stats you need to get you up to speed on young consumers. Silver and Gold subscribers have access to thousands of insight articles, curated up-to-date Millennial news items, a live mobile and social Q&A network, and thousands of statistics of Millennials drawn from our monthly national survey of 13-32-year-olds. Your search can begin and end with us. (Ypulse)

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