• United States

MTV doesn’t care about 15% of their market

Dec 17, 20052 mins
Data Center

In the never ending quest to garner eyeballs you’d think that consumer-oriented companies would do whatever it takes to get the greatest number of page hits possible and build a loyal audience. That’s what you’d think …

And then there’s MTV. You know those bizarre journeys you take following links because you forget to stop at the point you really should have? Well, that’s how I wound up on MTV’s Overdrive site.

Much to my surprise, I was presented with: “Detecting Browser… WE”RE SORRY! PC Users with Netscape, Mozilla or Firefox: you need to run Internet Explorer to use MTV Overdrive.”I was, of course, running Firefox 1.5. Now let’s think about this for a moment. Is this a good strategy when it comes to building an audience?I checked in with my old friend, marketing wunderkind Jim Sterne who pointed out:

As of Nov 2, 2005 from Onestat: The most popular browsers on the web are:

1. Microsoft IE 85.45 %

2. Mozilla Firefox 11.51 %

3. Apple Safari 1.75 %

4. Netscape 0.26 %

5. Opera 0.77 %

The most popular browsers in the USA are:

1. Microsoft IE 80.73 %

2. Mozilla Firefox 14.07 %

3. Apple Safari 3.55 %

4. Netscape 0.76 % 5. Opera
MTV doesn’t care about 12% of surfers? or 15% in the US? Interesting.

So, to what could we attribute such negligence on the part of MTV? Ignorance? Hardly, considering that this isn’t a new medium. Oversight? Hard to believe. Arrogance? Seems unlikely. Some kind of deal with the devil? Hummmm.

Ignoring such a large chunk of the market seems remarkable in the light of the competition for attention in the market that MTV addresses — or at least, tries to address.

Given that Firefox’s market share is growing I wonder how long such a bad marketing decision can last?


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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