MTV’s “everywhere” philosophy

Contemporary Radio copied a lot from MTV early on – mostly in terms of style – quick cut production – goofy, hip, irreverent “imaging” and packaging of music. But it seems radio pretty much stopped with those early lessons even as MTV continued to evolve.

During a recent keynote address at the CTAM Summit as reported by MultiChannel News, MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath said something that I’ve been trying to communicate for a while now –

“New technology has inspired new consumer behavior, unleashing pent-up demand. … You have to evolve or die. Those are the stakes,”

That’s the thing we often loose sight of.

We can relish that Satellite Radio isn’t attracting a MASS audience – or that no single player is even close to dislodging Radio as the MAIN MASS channel for receiving audio content – but that assumes everyone is playing the same game we’re playing. And they are not.

The point were missing is that collectively those OTHER channels are CONDITIONING (or inspiring) the market as a whole to demand an experience from media that radio currently isn’t providing.

More from McGrath’s keynote:

McGrath spoke about the “everywhere” world philosophy enveloping Viacom Inc.’s MTVN, which has been reorganized to place digital content alongside linear TV production.

The impetus: Consumers are seeking media on an array of platforms and will follow good content across different platforms.

This is another lesson Radio would do well to copy from MTV.

We may think Radio is an EVERYWHERE medium – and to the 35+ crowd clearly it is. But increasingly Gen Y and younger don’t think radio is EVERYWHERE. If it’s not on their devices (ipod,psp,laptop, phone etc) it’s not “everywhere.”

HD Radio is PART of everywhere. But AM/FM/HD is no longer EVERWHERE. It doesn’t get your morning show – or my favorite music program from your station into my life when I want it – on MY device.

HD Radio  – while an important digital upgrade – shouldn’t be the SOLE effort to modernize the radio medium.

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