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MTV2 Ads Summon Up ‘Non-Stop Summer’

Over the past 20 months, MTV2’s original content has quietly generated ratings gains among the fickle and hard to find audience aged 12 to 34. This week, the Viacom outlet is ready to make some noise about that performance.

Beginning May 20, MTV2 will unveil new image spots touting that appeal to young viewers, featuring stars of several top-rated series, in hopes of continuing growth with an audience thought to be abandoning traditional TV for the Web and other alternative distribution outlets, general manager Chris McCarthy said.

MTV2, which turns 20 this August, has posted seven eight quarters of ratings growth within that core 12-34 audience through shows targeting primarily male viewers, including Guy Code, Wild ’N Out and MTV2’s Joking Off. The network is coming off a record 2014 ratings year within the 12-34 demo and is already up 13% over last year's mark thus far in 2015.

“Our goal is to create an aggressively laid back yet fun environment that’s very personality-driven, provocative and extremely communal,” McCarthy said.

“Non-Stop Summer” spots will feature such personalities as Wild ’N Out host Nick Cannon and radio jock Charlamagne , touting new shows coming this summer and the network’s appeal to its target audience.

On the docket this summer are new shows Uncommon Sense With Charlamagne Tha God, premiering July 10 and starring the nationally syndicated radio host in a half-hour comedy talk show; Kingin’ With Tyga, debuting July 10 which follows the life of the hip hop recording artist; and Not Exactly News, launching June 17 which turns Internet happenings into funny news stories.

There is plenty of competition for millennial viewers from veteran basic- cable networks such as ABC Family, Adult Swim and sister service MTV, and from newer outlets including Pivot and Revolt. But McCarthy says its current and new slate of originals will keep millennials tuning in. He also pointed to the Web as a major competitor given the fact that younger viewers increasingly are watching video on their phones and tablets.

“We want to make our content incredibly funny and shareable so it works on all mobile and social platforms, but also bring those guys back to the screen,” McCarthy said.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.