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"Every piece of on-air promo, from tune-ins to our pro-social PSA initiatives will be wrapped inside this program."
—-Tina Exarhos, MTV EVP Marketing on 52/52
52/52: MTV PROGRAMMING, PROMO
TEAM UP FOR ARTIST EXPOSURE
Network Will Invite a Different Artist or Group Every Week to Take Creative Control of On-Air Promotion Inventory
As anyone who has watched MTV knows, some of the most creative, talked-about programming is the stuff that runs in between the shows, in other words, the on-air promotions.

Now, in an initiative dubbed 52/52 in-house, the network’s music and talent and marketing departments, respectively, will team up to offer a different band and/or artist every week for a year the opportunity to take over up to 11 hours of the channel’s on-air promotion inventory.

The artists participating in the initiative represent a wide range, from new and emerging bands like Paramore, Team Facelift, Rodrigo Y Gabriela and Mark Ronson to more established acts like Kanye West, Foo Fighters and Nelly Furtado.

“It’s a continuing attempt to try to use music in different ways on the channel,” says MTV EVP Marketing Tina Exarhos, whose department will be spearheading the program with SVP Music & Talent Amy Doyle. “This is a way of pulling all those elements together in one place for our audience. Every piece of on-air promo, from tune-ins to our pro-social PSA initiatives will be wrapped inside this program.”

It is up to the individual artists to work with the on-air promotion team to create their segments based on their own unique interests, which have ranged from the group Paramore sitting around a campfire on a lake in Queens (!?) to wine enthusiasts Rodrigo Y Gabriela perched on apple crates in a winery giving a guitar tutorial.

“Every week, the artist dictates the creative, so it’s different all the time,” says Doyle. “It needs to be based on who they are and what works best for them.”

“The intent is to have a wide mix,” adds Exarhos. “This is really a tool for music discovery.”

The artist choices are the result of an ongoing dialogue between the talent and promo teams, according to Amy. “It really starts with music that everyone’s passionate about,” she explains. “We definitely entertain pitches and ideas from everywhere, including the record labels and management.”

Much of the material will have an online component at MTV.com.

“People are already responding to what’s happening on-air,” says Tina. “A great deal of the material will remain on the Web to create this rich musical experience that continues even after the week is done.”

The results are already showing up in the real world. In the two days since Paramore’s appearance as an artist for the week began, their Web traffic has increased 50%, and digital album sales have gone from #33 to #9 on iTunes.

“The concept works best when the artists embrace it,” says Exarhos, “when it’s driven by their interests and personalities. It’s up to them to show their fans who they are and what they’re about.”

The artists are also enthusiastic about working with MTV’s famed on-air promotion team. Mark Ronson has already expanded his role during the week leading up to the VMAs on Sept. 9 as the program’s “Critically Acclaimed Artist and Producer.”

“When we pitched Kanye West on this, he was so excited to work with the people responsible for the look and feel of MTV,” says Amy. “It really hits home in a most dynamic way.”

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