Has the MTV Generation grown up and switched off?

MTV’s audience in the US is on the slide, but Robert Bakish, president and CEO of parent company Viacom International Media Networks, says the 32 year-old network’s future growth lies in tapping into the potential of emerging markets such as the Middle East


While Saudi Arabia may be some way off, inspiration can be taken from the statuette of a spaceman given to winners at the MTV Video Music Awards each year.

Symbolising man’s walk on the moon, the spaceman was used as inspiration for MTV’s early designs and visual icons in the 1980s. As interest in the moon has waned, so has viewing figures for MTV. However, NASA last year got a boost when it looked to Mars as the next source of inspiration and enjoyed great success. Let’s just hope MTV doesn’t have to go to a galaxy far, far away to find a new audience. MTV Mars and the Intergalactic MTV Video Awards live from the Red Planet does, however, have a nice ring to it.

Revealed: Inside the minds of Generation Y

Viacom has carried out a major global survey of what they have called the Millennials, those born from 1981 onwards. It is the first time the region has been included and features results from Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Millennials are those born from 1981 onwards, they are a more influential segment in Middle East than in other countries. Around the world the Millennial’s average on total population is 34 percent while in the Middle East is 48 percent, almost the half of entire population.

Millennials are occasionally known as Generation Y and it is the largest generation since the Boomers — according to US Census data there are around 2.5 billion globally (out of just under 7 billion total population).

They are overwhelmingly positive, happy and optimistic about their lives right now, not being scared by the word “failure”: it’s not so much about failing but experimenting, again, seeing what sticks.

Middle East Millennials are more determined to make the most of their lives (Egypt 89 percent, Saudi Arabia 91 percent).

Millennials believe internet changes the way they think about the world more (Egypt 88 percent, Saudi Arabia 82 percent).

In Middle East Millennials are more internet addicted than in other countries: 71 percent in Egypt wish to spend less time online but he can’t (KSA 54 percent).

Fifty five percent of Middle East Millennials in Egypt would rather stay at home than go on holiday without access to the internet (KSA 39 percent). More than four in five in the Middle East stay connected wherever they are.

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