The 2012 MTV youth study is titled ‘Tata Docomo presents MTV Power of One 2012’. The year, the channel says it spoke with 5000 young people (age group 15-24) in 31 cities to find out what exactly makes them tick. The premise of the ‘Power of One’ is based on their ability to come together as a collective easily, partly due to social networks, and bring about change.
Some of the key numbers from the study:
- 98% believe they have the power or ability to bring change in the world
- Almost 50% vociferously complain online if they don’t get good service from brands
- More than 50% claim they derive their power from a social network
- Nearly 42% insist they will actively participate in a cause or movement that affects them
- A mere 10% look up to public figures as a role model
We spoke to Aditya Swamy, executive vice president and channel head, MTV, about the study this year, which will be released today at the MTV Youth Forum in Mumbai.
CI: Tell us about the methodology this year.
Aditya Swamy (AS): This time we’ve doubled the sample size – 5000 people across 31 cities. We’ve really looked at trend leaders, because those are the guys riding ahead of the wave. If you understand them, then you stay ahead of where your consumers are and your brand will stay ahead in the learning curve. We use non-traditional techniques, so apart from the regular focus groups, we have something called MTV I-Speak which is an open group on Facebook, video diaries, observation studies. All of this comes together to form the base for our study. The time frame for the study is over 100 days.
CI: What are the key insights for you?
AS: Couple of key things. One, the reason it’s called ‘The power of one’ is because young people today are coming together as a collective and they’re using that force to bring about both social and cultural change. For example, why are films changing? Why is non-film independent music making such a foray into television and the live scene? Why is societal change happening? Why are online crazes happening? The most obvious examples are the Anna Hazare movement and ‘Kolaveri Di’. Films like ‘Delhi Belly’ and ‘Shaitan’ weren’t possible in India three years ago. Why is MTV introducing a show like ‘Sound trippin’’? Because today, one click of a ‘like’ makes it worthwhile for a broadcaster like me.
How are they able to do this? The reason is that today, the youth have more information. They’re able to reach out to peers through social networks. The platform to voice discontent is also there.
The other thing is that it’s a very sorted generation – it isn’t like “I have a dream and this is my reality.” They will translate their dreams into reality.
Young people are also very happy. 70% said that. The shocker was that they prize family more than friends – they believe family will support them through thick and thin, friends are there for the good times. This is also because parents have become friends of their kids.
Technology equals life for these kids.
From a brand point of view, youngsters are saying they don’t want brands to inspire them, but to engage them in a dialogue. Movements that create content platforms thus become key.