4,980 $m
MTV’s gradual evolution from non-stop music video channel to youth content brand isn’t a new story, but it reflects a shift to its audience’s interests all while remaining true to its innovative, experimental, and culturally relevant roots. A strategy that kicked off with the success of Gen X hit The Real World, its original programming has continued to evolve through reality shows like Punk’d, Jersey Shore, and The Valleys. As the Viacom-owned brand focuses on the second wave of Millennials, teens 13-17, MTV is broadening its focus to include grittier material for a generation growing up on stories like The Hunger Games, and experimenting with shows like Catfish and Washington Heights. It’s also continuing to innovate on mobile, with its MTV Everywhere app giving US viewers video content whenever and wherever they want, with greater interactivity and social features than previous apps. Beyond TV, it’s experimenting with MTV Other, a digital content lab promoting emerging talent and serving as a showcase for ad-supported shortform programming for the iPhone, iPad, and online. Another noteworthy strategic maneuver for the brand in 2013 was MTV’s announcement of a “Music Independence Day” on America’s July 4th holiday, linking a 12-hour on-air music programming marathon to a download-and merchandise platform. If not a return to its roots, this served as a reminder that MTV retains a strong interest in music as a key pillar to relating to youth culture.