What makes our readers click?
According to our Google Analytics stats, it’s innovative marketing, brilliant shows and movies, political coverage, LGBT initiatives, A$AP Rocky, tacos, and Mediterranean music festivals.
2016 was monumental for Viacom, along with the rest of the world. We witnessed one of the most tectonic presidential elections in history. The way we consume media continued to evolve with advanced streaming services and virtual reality engagement. We lost beloved celebrities such as Prince and David Bowie, and sadly, many more. But we saw others rise to stardom, like Rita Ora, who now hosts VH1’s America’s Next Top Model, and Bebe Rhexa, who hosted the 2016 EMAs.
This list is by no means comprehensive of what Viacom accomplished in 2016—that would require far more than 16 posts to cover. But we’ve gathered those that made the largest impact, according what you, our readers, have clicked on the most.
16. That time when we showed you an exclusive look at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lair.
To promote the summer release of TMNT: Out of the Shadows, Viacom Labs and Nickelodeon created a portal to another dimension—and allowed fans to rent the New York City space out on Airbnb for one night, free of charge.
As one would expect, a frenzy of guests attempted to secure a night in the dojo, which was only available a limited time. Airbnb chose several fans at random.
One lucky guest? Viacom employee Peter Chelala, who brought his wife and TMNT-obsessed kids along for the night.
15. When MTV and Logo bent gender norms and won an award for their superb initiative.
Activating positive social change is integral to Viacom’s corporate ethos. In June, we wrote about MTV and Logo’s PSA, Look Different: Gender Bent. The initiative was applauded by the Association of Cable Communications—as well as our readers, who clicked on this post enough to make it our 15th most popular article of 2016.
14. The Gang’s All Here: You were thrilled to read about our partnership with a new streaming service.
Coming in as our 14th most acclaimed post of 2016 is an October update by blog editor Stuart Winchester, regarding the trove of Viacom shows available on AT&T’s newly-launched DIRECTV NOW streaming service.
13. When we gave young students the opportunity to further their education with a $1,000 scholarship and a billboard in Times Square.
For yet another social justice initiative, we partnered with the Get Schooled Foundation and Taco Bell to give 300 students a chance for a brighter future. Executive Director and occasional blog contributor Marie Goark of Get Schooled guest-wrote this post in June.
Our readers must love higher education, social responsibility, and tacos—because this post was our 13th most popular of 2016. Click below to get schooled (again).
12. You were stirred by our Viacommunity Day recap post.
The 12th most engaging blog post was about the Viacommunity Day heard ‘round the world. With volunteers from Germany, Africa, Singapore, Australia, Hungary, the U.K., Mexico, Los Angeles, Nashville, Miami, New Jersey, New York City, and many other places, this year’s annual volunteer event was truly a global effort.
In fact, our recap was the longest post of the year, with a host of multimedia—including on-site photos, live-tweets, and Facebook posts. It’s certainly worth revisiting.
11. In late fall, you couldn’t wait for our upcoming holiday premieres.
Our November post detailing forthcoming premieres—such as Paramount’s Arrivals, Nickelodeon’s Legends of the Hidden Temple TV Movie, and TV Land’s Younger—pleased our readers immensely. Looking back, that’s a striking premonition.
These shows made critics swoon, and our movies not only killed it at the box office, but they’re starting to rack up awards show nominations and wins.
For this post, we used a multimedia calendar to give you an aesthetically-pleasing way to plan your cinematic escapades.
10. We introduced the Velocity Content Network and you were intrigued…
In March, Viacom launched the Velocity Content Network (VCN), a fascinating, yet enigmatic new division of Viacom Velocity.
We broke it down for you in less than four lines—not bad for an explanation of a complex advertising, branding, and integrated medley.
The post also included an example of VCN’s work—a life-hack video made in collaboration with What’s Up Moms, the number one parenting channel on YouTube. The video explained how to chill a bottle of champagne in less than 10 minutes, which might have contributed to some of those clicks.
In June, Velocity fever was still going strong. We published a follow-up post written by Velocity Editorial Assistant, Zac Coe, which broke news of Velocity’s website redesign.
9. Keeping up with the campaign trail…
You certainly embraced Viacom’s first-ever election recap series. We followed our brands’ tireless efforts to encourage viewers to vote, capturing each niche of peculiar politicking along the way.
Your favorites? Our posts about Viacom brands banding together to cover the Democratic National Convention, and Nickelodeon’s storied tradition of letting kids pick the president.
Look back at five months of political coverage. Click through to read the articles.
8. When we showed you our “Enough” PSA against sexual violence.
Viacom and Viacom Velocity partnered with the Joyful Heart Foundation to create this chilling PSA calling out the myriad excuses for domestic and sexual abuse against women.
The clip featured cast members of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the popular cop drama that begins each episode with a voiceover stating, “In the criminal justice system, sexually based offences are considered especially heinous.”
Our readers agree. This post is our eighth most popular of 2016, and Joyful Heart founder Mariska Hargitay (aka Detective Olivia Benson) would be proud.
7. When a Nickelodeon series got loud and proud.
The Loud House premiered in May , and started off as a fairly innocuous kids show about a boy living in a house with 10 sisters. By July, viewers, members of the press, and Christian talk show hosts were obsessing over the show. Why? One episode portrayed a character with two dads.
Having a same sex, married couple on a show was a Nickelodeon first. The feedback from critics was mostly positive, and many fans expressed gratitude on social media.
By October, The Loud House was the number one animated show on television, with 2 million viewers tuning in each episode. Its popularity might have something to do with its LGBT-positive stance.
Our readers admired our initial post enough to make it our seventh most popular of 2016.
6. When you found out how much of a multi-platform juggernaut the 2016 VMAs actually were.
Our sixth most intriguing article was in fact a single graphic. As blog editor Stuart Winchester wrote, “There really isn’t anything else to add to the graphic below, other than ‘wow.’”
Wow, indeed. The 2016 VMAs attracted 208 million views, across multiple networks and platforms. That’s a 153 percent increase from last year, and Miley wasn’t even at this year’s ceremony.
It goes to show the power of evolving content distribution.
5. You were engrossed with our post for MTV’s Prescription for Change documentary.
MTV’s documentary explored the opioid epidemic in the U.S., a serious and complex issue. In promoting the film, we wrote a post highlighting one particularly compelling element—a candid conversation between rapper Macklemore and President Obama.
Opiates and other drugs continue to ravage America and the rest of the world. It’s a topic certainly worth revisiting.
4. A$AP Rocky’s partnership with MTV Labs and Viacom Velocity was intriguing…
In September, we were excited to hear that the rapper-turned-business mogul would be the new creative director for MTV Labs.
Whether you were a fan of his music, doubtful of his branding prowess, or wondering why he opts to use a dollar sign in his moniker, our analysis of A$AP Rocky’s new role at MTV Labs satisfied your curiosity. We took you through his career, from homeless teenager turned multi-million dollar rapper, designer, and media Svengali.
See if you can glean any career advice from rap’s renaissance man.
3. The BET Awards reminded the world to stay woke, and our third most popular post did, too.
At the 2016 BET Awards, Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar stomped through 60 gallons of water amidst pyrotechnics at the Microsoft theater. Jesse Williams’ Humanitarian Award speech was nearly as electrifying. Then, a slew of stars memorialized Prince in a highly anticipated tribute.
2. Our readers had high expectations for Martha & Snoop’s dinner party, and our blog posts did not disappoint.
VH1 was tight-lipped leading up to the fall debut of its new series featuring Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, but we had enough information to keep our readers hungry for more.
Our August teaser post about Martha & Snoop’s potluck dinner party whet your appetites. In October, we revealed the trailer in a blog post. It turns out that the main course was worth waiting for, because it was our second-most read post of 2016.
1. Feeling weary from the winter doldrums? Our number one post from 2016 might cheer you up—or make you insanely jealous…
2016’s top post entailed one employee’s ultimate business trip—working PR for MTV’s free summer concert on a sublime Mediterranean island.
Our U.K. correspondent Farah-Bertille Cherif attended Isle of MTV, wrote this first-person account of her time in Malta, and over 17,000 of our readers followed along.
Here’s your chance to take a break from the January doldrums and visit unmitigated paradise—at least via Cherif’s phantasmal article.