The record for tweets-per-second presently sits at 8,868. What event sparked this seemingly untouchable record? Last week’s earthquake? The Women’s World Cup? Osama Bin Laden’s death? No, actually the 8,868 tweets-per-second record was set this past Sunday, particularly when Beyonce announced her pregnancy to the world during MTV’s annual Video Music Awards.
Shocked that there are still award shows for music videos? Me too. With the rise of iTunes and a shift in MTV’s programming, I figured the music video to be a lost art. Quite the contrary actually, in addition to setting the tweets-per-second record, this year’s VMA broadcast saw the largest audience for an MTV program ever with 12.4 million viewers.
As online services like YouTube and Vevo hold the top spots for music videos, the network formerly known as “Music Television” has adapted its lineup. Gone are shows like Making the Video and Total Request Live, replaced by Teen Mom, Teen Wolf (not related, though I wish) and the new viral-video show, Ridiculousness.
The network is a perfect example of a company evolving with its target demographic, identified as 18-34 year-olds. As this age group’s fascination with social media and reality-based programming continues its meteoric rise, MTV has cleverly shifted its programming. To those who called for the network’s downfall as it moved away from music videos, MTV proponents can simply point to Sunday night’s 12.4 million viewers and Jersey Shore’s entrenchment atop cable’s weekly ratings reports.
As the new lineup has thrived, advertisers continue to flock to the network. Companies and studios see MTV dominating the young adult demographic and subsequently see these same viewers sharing their likes and links all across the Internet.
With MTV, advertisers are essentially getting more bang for their buck. They pay for viewers to see their commercials, but there’s no price or fee for the links those individuals put on their Facebook pages or the hashtags they use on Twitter.
One need only look at this past Monday’s trending topics on Twitter to see the reach and impact MTV programs like the VMAs have. From Beyonce’s pregnancy to Lady Gaga/Jo Calderone, the events from Sunday night’s broadcast dominated the Twitterverse. While “Music Television” might be gone, MTV is still alive and kicking.