MTV – The Role of Internet and Technology

An analysis I wrote for my brand management course together with Remo Herzog, Delia Pindei and Lisa van der Zweep in 2010.
Part 1/4: Their Brand Image
Part 2/4: The Change and Difference in Their Brand Equity
 
Part 3/4: The Role of Music Within the TV Channel

technology and mtv

Part 4/4 : MTV – The Role of Internet and Technology

MTV was born with the idea of transforming the radio’s disc jockey to a television version, the video jockey. Although this idea was new, the needed technology was not. MTV did not change the way viewers watch television in a technological way, but with the new –– and successful –– idea of showing music videos. Nevertheless, technology has played a big part in MTV’s life. It started with the music videos in the 80s, when MTV pushed the producing budgets from around $10’000 to over $100’000, which raised the music video aesthetic further.

It was in the 90s when the Internet changed media consumption. In 1994 MTV launched its website MTV.com and in 1999 a separate business unit that oversaw the brand’s music sites, called MTV Interactive (MTVi), was formed. More online services followed, such as a legal music-download service in 2001. By 2005, there were 14 individual international MTV websites, each unique to its target group and traffic to MTV.com had grown to more than 18 million visitors each month. It was the number one music content site. It was also in 2005 when MTV Overdrive was launched, what pioneered online broadcasting. Up to this date MTV made a good job and realized the key role of the Internet in modern media consumption. But critics mentioned that MTV had not aggressively pursued growth opportunities in new media.

It was in 2006, when the channel missed the opportunity of buying MySpace.com, the leading teen Internet content site. MTV.com attracted far fewer visitors than MySpace.com. Although MTV had spent a lot of money on several internet acquisitions, none of which had approached the audience levels of mySpace. The channel faces the same problem nowadays: Looking for music or videos, Youtube and MySpace are the favourite pages to visit, while MTV.com plays a less important role.

The importance of Web 2.0 with its social media could easily lead to the suggestion of investing more in this modern technologies. But considering the fact that MTV always was a leader in cultural and musical changes and not in technology, it does not seem adequate if MTV tried to catch up with the others now. Moreover, it seems like MTV already missed the train. The channel should rather try to go in a new direction and to push the boundaries in other ways, as this has been its brand equity for the last three decades. Nevertheless, the channel has to accept and face the power of the Internet and the changed consumption habits.

[pic: CC-BY, fung.leo]

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Josef Ohlsson Collentine

A transparent and kind American/Swede who likes cultural patterns and Social Media. A creative early-adopter who sports, discusses and explores. More about me
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