Music television came to Asia later than the United States, but it is getting a cobranded credit card tie-in first.
Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. plans to market a MasterCard to viewers of Channel V in Hong Kong early next year.
No bank has yet to hook up with the two well-known music channels in the United States, MTV and VH1, but there is once again a movement toward cobranding in broadcasting, consultants say.
Card issuers went into the media market in the 1980s with radio cards, said James Accomando, president of Accomando Consulting in Fairfield, Conn. Those affinity products "were very much a failure," he said.
What hampered them and discouraged tie-ins with television channels, Mr. Accomando said, was the absence of customer lists.
And banks might have been reluctant to get involved with MTV because of the age of its audience, said Stephen Drees, principal, Strategic Marketing Services, Westborough, Mass.
However, he said, a significant number of MTV viewers are older than 18, and the viewers between 25 and 40 targeted by VH1 could be attractive prospects who would be interested in discounts and other offers from advertisers. "The bank would have to be sophisticated enough to market the card and underwrite it to become profitable," Mr. Drees said.
The Hongkong Bank MasterCard is marketed to those between 20 and 35 in the bank's home market. Channel V is available to more than 220 million viewers in China, India, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Thailand.
It is the first cobranded product with a broadcaster in the Asia region, MasterCard said. The card will be available from other banks in the region later.
"Traditionally, credit cards were aimed at a more mature market with rewards systems that benefit an older card user," said Brian Thom, senior vice president, marketing, in MasterCard's Asia-Pacific region. "This new MasterCard will have a unique loyalty scheme tailored to the young market."
Cardholders can earn a number of entertainment and leisure benefits such as preferential treatment when booking concerts and discounts from fashion stores, record outlets, restaurant chains, and travel companies.
Channel V is running on-air advertising and a direct-mail campaign to promote the card.
The idea in Asia "wasn't so much to go after cable TV for cable TV's sake, but to get cards in the hands of Generation X," said Mr. Accomando. He said that could be a worthy goal in the United States as well.