MTV Makes Money on Election 2008

Ordinarily, the information in that title would not be headline material, but this year MTV is trying something different than it has in recent years—-it’s actually looking to profit from a presidential campaign.

For the first time in more than a decade the popular music network is selling time for political spots this election season. It’s a practice that is all but routine for other networks, but MTV hasn’t taken political advertising since its “Choose or Lose” political activism campaign in 1992, according to MTV execs.

“Given where we are and how the young voters have become increasingly engaged, we decided political advertising would be a good fit for our audience,” bigwigs at the network announced earlier this week.

MTV has a reputation for trying to get its young viewers interested in politics and the one candidate who stands to gain from the network’s new decision is Democrat Barack Obama.

Several polls have suggested that Obama has an advantage over Republican presidential candidate John McCain among young voters. But some pollsters suggest it’s hard to get a true read on youthful preferences because young voters tend to be fickle.

Sources at MTV say the median age of their viewers is 22, which means about two-thirds of the MTV audience is eligible to vote.

As for how Obama’s camp is reacting to the news that they will soon be able to reach out to potential voters via MTV, representatives with the candidate’s campaign wouldn’t comment on their advertising strategy. However, last week The New York Times identified MTV as a potential target for Obama advertising.

MTV execs say they will decide whether to run spots by political groups not aligned with a specific campaign on a case-by-case basis. But for now they are hoping strong ad sales from Obama and McCain will help revenue growth.

This entry was posted in Television and tagged , , , by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.
Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.