Attack of the Millennial Networks

Millennials include individuals who grew up with MTV and who remember the terrorist attacks of September 11th vividly. Its a group that’s been surrounded by more media and advertising than any other generation. This group is also highly attuned to when it’s being marketed to and they’ve grown up with buzzwords and “viral” campaigns, without the curtain that previously divided consumers and those who would have them consume.

It’s the generation that spans from people who were in their teenage years in 1994 when they watched a gay man living (not dying) with AIDS on MTV for the first time ever to those who were newborns when "The Office," "Grey's Anatomy," and "Lost" premiered ten years later.

It’s the generation that is as diverse as the content they consume.

The millennial generation is more ethnically diverse than any other previous group. Fourteen percent of U.S. millennials were born outside the U.S., and 11 percent of those born in the U.S. have at least one immigrant parent. They care about equality and the environment. They buy things through their mobile devices. And they also consume their TV and music through a variety of devices.

A number of the networks launching this year are targeting young English-dominant Latinos (including us at Fusion, of course.) It’s a demographic growing at an extraordinary pace and group that is becoming more educated by the day and as result a group with more buying power.

Fusion’s main target are Latinos but the content will appeal to young people in general and will be serious and not so serious.

“Our audiences heads don’t snap when they move from a high culture to a popular culture topic, they have eclectic interests and define those interests very much from their gut,” says Billy Kimball, Fusion’s senior vice president and chief programming officer. Kimball’s resume include writing episodes of "The Simpsons" as well as the award-winning documentary "Waiting For Superman."

It’s a similar model that MTV thrived on in the early years. At 10:00pm you could watch “The Real World” taking place in San Francisco that followed Pedro Zamora, the Cuban-born gay man living with AIDS and then minutes later viewers were sitting through “Beavis and Butthead.”

Huffington Post’s founding editor Roy Sekoff says that’s really the way people consume media. He’s the president of HuffPost Live which delivers streams original content online and through content streaming services including Boxee and Roku.

“When you come to the Huffington Post you may come to see what’s the latest that’s happening with the filibuster in Texas the you go and say wait a minute, what’s the latest happening here with Kim and Kanye and you go to 12 ways I can save my marriage,” says Sekoff.

The number of new networks launching will really let millennials pick and choose, just like we want it.

“There’s a 100 million millennials in the United States and there’s actually a lot of room and there’s a lot of room for content targeted at that demographic,” said Evan Shapiro, the president of Participant Television, the company launching Pivot.

“We’re looking at the subset of them who are focused on two things: quality entertainment and socially relevant content,” he told Fusion.

The Attack of the Millennial Networks

Here’s a breakdown of the networks, we’ll start with ourselves.


The ABC and Univision joint venture.

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