Viacom Inc plans to use its MTV Networks unit as the foundation of its global strategy, with focus on emerging markets in China, India and Brazil. MTV, which reaches 340 million homes worldwide, is growing very fast in Asia, reaching nearly 130 million homes.
The US spends about 0.6 percent of its gross domestic product on television advertising, compared to 0.2 percent in China, where MTV reaches 54 million homes. As the gap narrows, Viacom Inc, stands to reap enormous benefits, as China is projected to become the world’s fourth largest advertising market by 2010.
In Latin America, MTV will continue to focus on Brazil, which is expected to grow from the 12th largest advertising market to the third largest by 2010. Another key element of MTV’s international strategy is the focus on local programming, with 60 to 70 percent of the programming on each of MTV’s international channels produced in its respective market.
MTV, which recently bought The Music Factory, its rival channel in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, is on a lookout for more acquisitions in large markets without widespread access to cable.
The company also plans to spread its influence beyond television to other media such as the Internet and mobile phones, particularly in Europe and Japan, where text messaging via phones is popular. In the UK, MTV introduced the show “Videoclash,” in which the video playlist is determined by text messages sent from mobile phones, or MTV’s UK website. MTV is also considering the launch of an American version of the show.