MTV (Music Television), which is now owned by media conglomerate Viacom, was established in 1981, using a simple concept of promoting music videos of recording companies for programming on their TV show. MTV has been known for targeting the youth of American and gauging its programming and content based on the preferences of teenagers. MTV grew along with the baby boomer generation, generating more than $2B in revenues.8 Despite MTV’s ambitions to become a world renowned provider of branded entertainment, it experienced many missteps in its quest of global expansion.
MTV entered the industry during its embryonic phase. Consumers were just learning the meaning of music television and coming to appreciate the entertainment it offered. In many respects, MTV was quick to capture the innovators and early adopter segments of the consumer market. As the industry grew and the market continued developing, MTV endeavored to expand globally and attempt to capture the early majority of the customer groups who were now gravitating toward this form of entertainment and spurring the market growth. The premise of MTV’s global expansion was based upon the popularity received from the American market; these philosophies lead to an expansion across Europe, with American hosts and American programming. 5 While some Europeans did enjoy some of the same popular musicians as Americans, this market craved something more local and in tune with their customs, tastes and preferences.
MTV’s popularity and profits in Europe suffered as a result of this tactical mistake. This led to local imitators entering the market and providing an entertainment platform capable of providing more customization to the region. While MTV did learn from this mistake, it was slow to respond. Some 14 years after it entered the market and learned from its first mistake in international expansion, it changed its globalization strategy and provided Europe with a regionally customized...