Gen Z is our first post-TV generation, which puts Viacom in a tough spot

By Christopher Zara

April 30, 2018

The decline of traditional TV viewing is a problem for all legacy media conglomerates, but it’s especially problematic for Viacom, whose portfolio of cable networks includes youth-aimed brands like MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central.

How does a TV company reach a generation that doesn’t watch TV? To address this quandary, Viacom has been increasingly trying to meet young viewers where they live—on social media. Today, the company held its first-ever “NewFront” event for digital content, where it announced a number of new offerings that will be distributed via Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook.

Here are a few of the announcements:

    Facebook Watch: You Up? With Nikki Glaser, a morning show from Comedy Central that will air on Facebook Watch

    YouTube: Cooking in the Crib with Snooki, a cooking show that will air on MTV’s YouTube channel

    Snapchat: Viacom renewed its deal with Snap and will produce more original content and live events for Snapchat Discover

    Twitter: Viacom is partnering with Twitter to distribute content from MTV News, BET Breaks, and Comedy Central’s Creator’s Room

    VidCon: Viacom is taking the YouTube-centric conference international with a new event in London. It will take place in February 2019.

In the old days, media companies would tout TV ratings, but Viacom has become fond of touting its social media reach. The company said its newly launched Viacom Digital Studios racked up 4.3 billion social video views the second quarter, an increase of 70%.

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