MTV is ramping up its marketing spend in a bid to stop viewers from switching to other channels. The music network currently spends about £1.5m on advertising but is expected to triple this over the next year.
The move follows a difficult year for MTV, which has seen its audience decline. The fall is attributed to viewers moving to more general entertainment channels and increased investment in music programming from broadcasters such as Channel 4.
Viacom Brand Solutions (VBS) sales director Mark Swift says the channel also suffers from being in the “toughest category” on the electronic programme guide.
VBS will also plough more investment into MTV’s online properties, which include MTV Overdrive and user-generated content site MTV Flux.
VBS revealed its plans at its annual agency presentations. Managing director Nick Bampton describes 2006 as an “annus horribilis” for the TV industry.
He adds that advertisers have continued to pull money away from the medium because they can now buy airtime for less money and spend the savings on other media.
Bampton says the cuts are due to global procurement practices and increasing spend on search advertising online: “Search has increased, but it is a one-trick pony – as those in online know. Any market purely placed on price reaches a peak sooner rather than later.”
Bampton has also renewed calls to change the way TV is sold, urging agencies and media owners to consider selling on a client-by-client basis, rather than relying on agencies’ deals.