For those of us who remember an edgier, more music focused MTV, the changes we’ve witnessed the channel go through have been hard to stomach and understand. MTV is supposed to stand for Music Television, but the now tired argument rings out from the mouths of aging millennials and generation X’ers alike, asking “where did all the music go?”.
To get a better sense of how people at MTV answer that question, The Bubble sat down with Paul Del Pin, the Marketing Director for MTV Latin America and Brazil to see what this new (to people born before 1995 at least) MTV really looks like.
The first thing Del Pin directs our attention to is that music videos are not the only way of getting music onto the channel. More importantly, from the channel’s standpoint they had to figure out how incorporate music in a time where music videos are available for free, on demand thanks to sites like Youtube and Vimeo.
Nostalgia for afternoon music video binging and the borderline inappropriate emotional relevance I see in this particular Portlandia skit, the reality has to hit home at one point. If you miss how MTV used to be, you are almost definitely too old to fit into their target demographic. Expanding on that even further, young people (and we are talking teenagers) consume music and video content differently than young adults.
Del Pin breaks it down by saying “Music is still 55 percent of our programming, we still have a lot of music and it’s in the DNA of MTV, but at the same time MTV has evolved into a network for teenagers”
You can’t talk about teenage media consumption without taking into account what many in the industry call “2nd screen formatting”. This is industry speak for how many young people watch television with their mobile device in their hands. Checking out social media while watching TV seems natural to us now, but it presents an interesting challenge to media companies trying to create content that young people connect with.
Del Pin closes with “I always say ‘OK’ which one is the second screen?”. While it makes many of us feel old, the cold reality is that MTV stops making sense when you’re too old to matter to them. For the bitter and nostalgic among us, let’s let the kids watch their MTV with apps and smartphones in hand and we can go back to curating that killer playlist on our Spotify Premium accounts and YouTube.
Get off my lawn kids! I mean… rock on youth of the Americas.