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A Tech-Econ Mashup with a Libertarian Flavor

MTV, VH1 Losing Their Audience (Viacom is Screwed).

Wired.com posted an article yesterday about media giant Viacom and its disappointing 2nd quarter results. Apparently, those darned kids are to blame:

The culprits, according to the Wall Street Journal , were MTV and VH1. And although the company expects the ratings to return soon, thanks to the season premiere of “The Hills” and the MTV Video Music Awards in September — we suspect it’s not just the economy or a short-term ratings dip that ails Viacom.

The fundamental problem could be that the “youth demo” that Viacom has hotly chased after for the last couple decades is a bust. Teens and twenty-somethings don’t watch TV anymore; they don’t read newspapers; and they’re technologically promiscuous — how can big media sell advertising against them if you can’t corner them in front of any single device?

Dauman hinted at the problem, but he didn’t address it head on when he said some viewers are migrating from broadcast networks to cable channels, but “the trend did not benefit some of our networks that cater to younger demographics.” The key takeaway: Young people have left, and they’re not coming back.

Memo to Viacom: Instead of suing Google and Youtube, realize that Youtube can be your friend.

Related: Viacom and “Gootube” have reached a deal that will allow Youtube to remove usernames and IP addresses from user data before handing it over to Viacom. Score another point for privacy!

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Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.
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