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MTV2: Go Online, Young Man

Strategy includes “micro-sites” of local music listings 1/13/2006 07:00:00 PM Eastern

On Tuesday evening, Jan. 17, heavy-metal rock band Blood­simple plays at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Ariz. On Thursday in Las Vegas, Zebrahead plays the House of Blues. In New Orleans, blues man John Mooney takes the stage Friday evening at Tipitina’s Uptown.

The source for these local concert listings and hundreds of others: the local cable company, in association with MTV2.

Working to ramp up its distribution over prized analog cable tiers, the music-centric stepchild of MTV has turned to a different sort of local-advertising approach than simply offering the standard two minutes of commercial time per hour for its affiliates to sell.

Instead, MTV2 is encouraging affiliates to get behind the same sort of “360-degree” sponsorship packages sold nationally at the network level. These packages are designed to provide advertisers a presence across the MTV2 TV network, its companion national Web site and a growing portfolio of portable-media initiatives.

Locally, MTV2 has replicated elements of the 360-degree approach by producing online “micro-sites” for affiliates that provide live local music schedules and can be sponsored by local promoters and other advertisers.

MTV2 also is making it possible for affiliates to inject local concert information and performances from bands into its network feed, producing a sort of hybrid national-local music channel. In another move to inspire more local-ad insertion, the network’s parent MTV Networks has allotted to MTV2 affiliates three minutes per hour of commercial time versus the more prevalent two minutes from most other networks.

ATTRACTING TOP-TIER SUPPORT

The efforts are attracting support in a number of top-25 TV markets, where local advertising organizations—including Comcast Spotlight, Cox Media and Time Warner Cable—now peddle time on MTV2 in addition to its local “music choice” Web micro-sites.

MTV Networks VP of Affiliate Advertising Sales Jason Malamud says cable providers reaching roughly 10 million households now sell local-ad time on MTV2.

In addition to the multimedia content extensions like local music sites, Malamud says the network’s primary value is in filling in demographic gaps in broader local-ad packages designed to appeal to male viewers. With a high concentration of male viewers 12-24, MTV2 helps balance out campaigns that otherwise tend to under-deliver young men.

Under-delivery of that demo is a common occurrence with popular local-ad sales packages that revolve around sports inventory, Malamud says.

If there’s easy one message he wants affiliates to remember, it’s that MTV2 delivers young men. “In a world of 40-plus insertion networks,” he says, “your story has to be very simple.”

 

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