25-Year-Old MTV Makes Move on College Set

y2m.gifMTV keeps gettin’ older, and they keep stayin’ the same age….College kids, that is.

MTV’s college TV network, mtvU, just announced its acquisition of Youth Media and Marketing Networks, a network of 450 online campus paper sites. With MTV on their side, Y2M online college newspapers could have more clout when it comes to wooing advertisers.

Surely, MTV already has a foothold in the college market through its regular cable properties as well as the college network. This, however, gives MTV a quick way of reaching that same market through local online and print pubs.

It’ll also facilitate enhancements on the sites, including community tools, music libraries, “and the means to create university-specific online networks,” as noted in the press release. The focus here seems to be giving MTV’s national advertisers easy access to college newspaper sites, and vice versa. Although I’m sure that Y2M appreciates national ad dollars, it’s interesting to note a recent study the network conducted that found the following as reported by this very publication:

Of the more than 7,500 undergrads, grad students, alumnae, parents and faculty campus media readers who responded to the survey, 64 percent want to see more ads for local restaurants on their campus paper’s site. Fifty-seven percent want more job recruiting ads, 51 percent more entertainment ads and 50 percent more ads for local retailers. Fifty-six percent of respondents were students or recent graduates, and 44 percent were older alumnae, parents and faculty.

Another tidbit worth mentioning: Y2M has had a deal with Knopf, a division of Random House, to market Knopf titles on its newspaper sites. The fact that MTV Books is a division of Simon and Schuster doesn’t bode well for that relationship….

With the MTV oversight, one also wonders whether editorial staff will have less independence, or whether sites will lose any originality. If anything, though, the relationship indicates that college newspapers remain valuable media for advertisers

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