MTV Networks chairman says that Viacom division is “super-niching,” looking for sites that overlap with MTV’s core cable audience.
MTV Networks Chairman Judy McGrath said that user-generated content was the cornerstone of MTV’s multiplatform strategy and to expect to see more acquisitions like IFilm, Xfire and Neopet.
Her keynote at the CTAM Summit this morning in Boston attracted a broad audience of marketers yesterday morning, which came looking for insight into how to connect with today’s young audiences.
McGrath described MTV’s strategy as “super-niching,ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â finding community sites to acquire that overlap with MTV brands’ core audiences. Smaller companies are sometimes easier to digest, she said.
“I think we’ll be making relevant acquisitions for next few years and size is not really the issue; it’s fit,ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â said McGrath, this year’s Grand Tam award winner.
One of the defining characteristics of today’s young people, like the ones that flood the offices of MTV in the summer to work as interns, is the desire to use media to express themselves and reach out to others, McGrath said.
“To keep up with them we keep asking the basic questions: Who is the audience, what do they need and how fast can we get it to them?ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â she said. ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ÂThey want to participate and leave their mark on the media landscape because that’s where they build their communities today.”
She acknowledged the importance of cable’s core TV properties, but admitted she spent most of her time on digital strategy and implementation. Marketing this media is harder than ever before, she said, because the job never stops evolving.
MTV’s goal is not only to drive viewers from new platforms back to TV, she said. The idea is to keep in contact with them by using all platforms and to let them decide which works best for them. If done correctly, the TV ratings will take care of themselves, she said.
McGrath’s highlighted the success of the “Flava of LoveÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â promotional campaign. It helped to drive usage on all platforms and more than six million viewers tuned into the MTV to watch the reality show’s finale, a record for MTV.
She also applauded the creators of the broadband portal MTV Overdrive. The platform was nominated for the Emmy Award for news and documentary programming for The Diary of Gideon in Pakistan, about the devastation and recovery efforts following last year’s earthquake that left 3.5 million homeless.