We don’t know what Participant Media thinks The CW and MTV are, but apparently they strongly disagree that they’re networks that interest millennials. We think this after hearing that Participant has plans to launch a network geared toward the millennial generation or “The Next Greatest Generation” (of viewers) as they’d like (everyone?!) to refer to them.
Can we call them the generation of people who livestream entertainment on all their fancy-schmancy technology doodads?! Because, really? What millennial is sitting around waiting for television networks to actually air programming? Who are they, NCIS and Two and a Half Men viewers?
Snark has already begun flooding in amongst the commenter rabble sections of many a blog or website that’s covered this announcement. Mostly to say, “Hey! Isn’t that what Current TV is?” Oh, har. No, seriously. Current TV is one of those networks that seems like a crunchy granola place for millennials to hang out — ahem, perhaps if they actually achieved some sort of loyal viewership. For now it seems like Current is just a bunch of Al Gore internet Twee-bots careening around the network espousing liberal ideology while attempting to tell the world where to find them on the cable box. (Their website really does list where you can find them on the cable box.)
No! We imagine what Participant has planned is much more focused than any hippie wannabe NPR television network!
“The goal of Participant is to tell stories that serve as catalysts for social change. With our television channel, we can bring those stories into the homes of our viewers every day.”
So what does this mean for networks like MTV, the land of random millennials showcased in their debauched habitats, or The CW, the place where millennials look longingly at one another while a guy in a green arrow costume, or a beastly looking underwear model, protrudes their square jaws? Will MTV be forced to play music again?! Will Tyra Banks continue to throw various model groups into her never ending cavalcade of smize bootcamps?! What will happen when the millennials get their own network? Probably absolutely nothing.
“Our content will be specifically designed for the viewers that the pay TV eco-system is most at risk of losing. We all know that Millennials are changing how media is consumed. However, they also have the strong desire and inimitable capacity to help change the world. Our research shows that there is a whitespace in the television landscape and we believe that a destination for ‘the next greatest generation’ will be a win for our affiliate partners, advertisers and the creative community.”
We’re not sure what any of this actually means. Is this some way of saying that it will be a more high-brow look at the making and selling of leggings in Urban Outfitters, because really, what else could it mean? No. So let’s be realistic. Aren’t millennials like most people on this planet whose interests vary? Seems a bit strange to have a goal of marketing television viewing for adults based on some sort of supposed generational interests. We can only imagine the whole legions of people who’ll say, “That’s not me at all!” And then “The Millennial Network” will get derivative and it’ll be an ironic thing millennials watch and mock when they’re having their livestreaming broccoli parties, or whatever it is millennials do when they congregate and graze in the loft space Serengeti as if they were slogan t-shirt wearing meerkats, and when they aren’t studied for television viewership research by Participant Media.
Here’s a fun thing to do! Submit some names for the great new millennial network in the comments!