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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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “My 2017 resolution is YOLO life...Don't be afraid to take a chance, to fail, and then try again.”—Female, 20, NY

Professional Millennials are turning to apps and loved ones for financial advice—but they still aren’t reaching their goals. A study by finance company SoFi found that 25-34-year-olds are most likely to turn to significant others as a resource for money matters, followed by family, then “nobody,” followed by financial advisors. Almost 40% are using apps and digital tools for personal finance a few times a month or more, but despite their efforts, 38.4% say they were less than successful in accomplishing financial goals last year—indicating that they could use more help. (SoFi

Netflix has turned itself into a must-have for TV viewers. Hub Entertainment Research recently asked U.S. consumers what TV sources they would keep if they could only have three, and found that 36% chose Netflix, followed by ABC at 20%, and then CBS at 18%. For 16-24-year-olds, Netflix is “even more indispensable,” with 56% choosing the streaming service as one of their three—almost three times more than their second choice, ABC at 19%. Our Binge Effect trend found that 64% of 13-33-year-olds are using Netflix the most for binge-watching content.  (Digital TV Europe

University students in the U.K. value good grades more than privacy. A new study from digital learning platform Kortext found that almost half of students agree they would get better grades if their lecturers were able to track their study habits and progress throughout the year, and a whopping nine out of ten would be happy to let their universities use analytics to track their weekly progress to achieve better marks. Growing up in the digital era has made younger consumers more open to sharing information than previous generations—which we covered in our The Privacy Issue trend. (Forbes)

Millennial-owned businesses are feeling really good about 2017. A recent Yelp survey revealed that the majority of businesses had a good 2016, with 68% saying their business performance met or exceeded their expectations. The majority of Millennial business owners felt the 2016 political climate benefit for their businesses, and they were more likely to say it had a positive effect than older respondents. They’re also expecting 69% more revenue growth than their older counterparts for 2017. (Small Business TrendsYelp)

Sesame Street’s Count von Count is a rare find—children are not hearing many foreign accents in their entertainment. An analysis of kids’ TV shows found that out of 282 characters, only 21 were foreign, and “in terms of personality traits, [the] foreign characters were more bad, aggressive and uncultured than non-foreign characters.” According to a Pew report, second generation immigrants make up 11% of the entire U.S. population, and our Diversity Tipping Point trend, revealed that 52% of 13-33-year-olds don’t feel entertainment media does a good job of representing minority groups. (The Guardian

Quote of the Day: “My 2017 resolution is to improve my dog's confidence- She's somewhat fearful.”—Female, 28, PA

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