FEATURE27 August 2009

A Sticky state of affairs

Features News

Viacom’s new MTV Sticky website promises to provide the media and ad industries with fresh insight into youth culture. We spoke to Helen Rose, director of insight, to find out about how the site came about and what she has planned for it in the future.

What sort of research was VBSI carrying out before the launch?

A lot really, is the easy answer. MTV Sticky existed previously and what we were doing with it was trying to aggregate youth trends, fads and facts – anything that was of any interest to businesses targeting the youth demographic.

It encompassed a magazine that we used to publish every quarter and it felt the time was right to move that from an offline property to an online one. It made sense because people are consuming this information across businesses and it makes it more immediate for them.

It means we can be there in the market on a regular basis, not just updating the site daily but there as a weekly newsletter, Twitter and an RSS feed. That allows people to get in touch with us on a more regular basis, which I think is what businesses need right now.

How have clients reacted to the new offering?

Well. Feedback on the old Sticky was always great, we knew clients loved having access to this sort of resource, just because I think its really easy for them to get to know their target consumer, and that’s what we want to help them to do.

Apart from the surveys that took place before the launch, where do you get your infomation for the site’s content?

We have an editor, who manages all the content. A lot of the content is written by him, but he works with contributors – a lot of youth commentators, journalists and the network of young people that we’re in contact with.

As well as Sticky we obviously do so much more stuff at VBSI. It’s really important for us to demonstrate that we understand the youth market because people come to MTV for our expertise in terms of understanding this audience, which we do through Sticky, our bespoke lifestyle research products and a consumer lifestyle panel, all of which will input into Sticky.

Are the people interviewed for Sticky the same ones you use elsewhere?

In some cases yes, but sometimes we may brief out research to external partners and panels to ensure we always have a varied mix of people. It is important that we have a varied input.

Do you have any plans to use Sticky as an MTV-branded panel?

We do already have a consumer panel of 4,000 16-34 year old across Europe and within that we are developing a group where we will have even more dialogue and give that ‘Sticky’ feel to them where we can get more qualitative insight. Obviously at the moment having the consumer panel online means we can do a lot of quant, but it’s great when you can back that up with qual.

We’re always endeavouring to do both and that’s where our output has so much value to clients.

The site is free, do you plan to keep it that way?

Sticky will always be free to all our clients, as we want to share our insight with anyone who wants to come to us and find out about youth.

I think when we know that we have brands or clients that want to take that a bit further, that is when we would look to work on a bespoke basis.

How do you see Sticky developing in the future?

We really want people to start interacting so we can have a two-way conversation with youth on the site, so I hope that gets going.

We want to take it to the next level and it could be that next year we look to do some kind of offline support for the online site. We know from doing magazine that there is still a role for print in this market.