Tuesday, April 17, 2012

MTV: Regionalization & Localization

My presentation that I'll be doing later today is over MTV and its use of regionalization and localization to compete in the global market place. Regionalization links nations together based on geographic, cultural, linguistic, and historical commonalities. (Straubhaar, LaRose, & Davenport, 501) Localization goes hand-in-hand with this because its main use is the taking of a product and adapting it towards a specific local market. I’ll be looking at MTV’s history as a growing business entity which forged its own generation, the “MTV generation,” and I’ll note its content changes throughout the years. Next I’ll chronicle MTV’s exponentially growing global expansion of the channel while providing examples, like the UK’s Geordie Shore, which showcases the localization of a foreign product. Due to time constraints I’ll mostly be looking at MTV China to show the policies of Viacom, MTV’s parent owner, when it takes MTV into a foreign country. They believe in keeping complete ownership of the channel but also understand that if any success is to be had, locally produced content must be made to successfully market towards the Chinese audience. This includes using local VJ’s, DJ’s on the TV, and airing Chinese music videos as the majority content. MTV also partnered with local businesses like CCTV and SMG to make a Chinese music award show and style award show financially feasible. In conclusion, MTV continues to prove its worth as an excellent example of the global marketplace at work. Despite its seemingly low-brow, questionable content, its popularity is a product of the “give the people what they want” mentality. If people stop watching the channel, it goes away. I believe the main goal of the producers of this media content is, essentially, financial gain based on a competitive market economy and not one based on American indoctrination of a foreign people. Localization only helps to further discredit the notion of a complete westernization takeover in the ever growing globalized world.

1 comment:

Matthew Reagan said...

To briefly answer how globalization shapes media industries and their products is also to answer how those industries and products shape globalization. The globalized world is large and whole a market economy set up by the globally rich north. It’s because of these industries' interests that the world is ever, exponentially, becoming completely globalized. Viacom and MTV set out across borders because they saw the potential of profit. They immediately saw the advantage of localizing their content so as not to undermine the foreign local inhabitants and their respective governments. This global market does seem to have consequences for the poorer global south, however. Some argue that the south can only benefit from globalized industry, but with competition being the key factor for success, poor nations have reason to worry that their culture and way of life will be wiped off the face of the Earth in lieu of profits to be had by the few.