From Thursday January 18, 2007
mtv’s online platform for targeting college job seekers continues to grow in leaps and bounds with today’s announcement that mtvU has acquired RateMyProfessors.com. RateMyProfessors.com, is an online community where 10 million college students have posted over 6.6 million ratings on 900,000 professors. Now that’s what I call transparency. According to Stephen Friedman, general manager of mtvU:
“Every time we asked our audience about tools they use online, RateMyProfessor always came up,” he said. “Now we’re talking with them about how we build on this idea–best dorms, best places to eat around campus.”
Continuing their buying spree of college focused social networking and community sites, it appears mtvU is attempting to increase their relevance to students who are increasingly watching mtv less, and interacting on the web more. Yesterday, the rumor was that mtv’s long running hit show TRL (Total Request Live) may be canceled. Holy shit Batman! This news follows recent Nielsen data showing TRL viewership down from it’s height of 600,000 viewers in 2001, to 393,000 today, a 35% drop.
Last year, mtvU acquired Y2M (Youth Media and Marketing Networks) that owns College Publisher who provides the publishing platform and ad network for some 500 college newspapers such as Duke’s The Chronicle and Notre Dame’s Observer. However, a look at some of the job sections on these college newspapers reveals a rather humble jobs selection, more likely catered to part time jobs for active students rather then the cool jobs that graduates will want to land once their diploma is in hand. In contrast to this, mtvU relies on MonsterTRAK to power their college focused job board and has a pretty strong selection of job seeker content to offer students. We’re left to ponder how long will it be before the jobs section for the college news sites part of College Publisher’s network begin to use the aggregated job board and content found on mtvU. Ideally, mtvU should offer a solution that will cater to both in-school part time jobs, internships, as well as positions for upcoming graduates. With the wealth of college internship programs and corporate sponsorships in the market it seems like additional student focused content and functionality could be added to mtvU to increase its relevance and value.
You can start to put mtvU’s strategy together when you watch their acquisitions. Not that they’re hiding it in any way.
“The move ties into mtvU’s larger strategy to connect with college students “on-air, online and on campus,” Friedman added.”
In addition, there is new speculation published by paidcontent.org, citing multiple sources, suggesting that MTV’s parent Viacom has invested in TagWorld. According to the article on Online Media Daily from MediaPost
“Friedman, whose mtvU unit would certainly be affected by the deal, said he had no knowledge of the agreement. A spokesman for MTV said the company was not commenting on the report.”
What mtv and mtvU have to tackle quickly is a real answer to communities like Facebook. If they can leverage enough of their music and reality T.V. content, along with things like the college newspaper network and other acquisitions like RateMyProfressors and TagWorld, maybe they have a shot. What are your thoughts?
[tags]mtvU, mtv, TRL, Total Request Live, RateMyProfessors, RateMyProfessors.com, College Publisher, y2m, TagWorld, Youth Media and Marketing Networks[/tags]