The Verge: MTV Logo
August 1st, 1981, at 12:01 AM, the instrumental from the electric piano played out from the TV speaker as the first 24-hour music video channel would make its grand debut, MTV broadcasted their first music video “Video killed the radio star” by The Buggles. As the sound of the reverbed 80’s piano played people everywhere would be exposed to a turning point in home entertainment. But what happened to MTV? How did it go from the most popular video music channel to whatever you’d call it now.
By 1985 there were complaints about the music and the videos that were shown on the channel but none of MTV’s viewers in the 1980’s or 90’s could’ve ever foretold what would happen to the channel.
Now it no longer smells like teen spirit, now we’re too busy being entertained by teenage pregnancies. MTV has fallen off and maybe needs to consider that it’s over. Becoming ever so relevant in the 1980’s promoting various artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, and growing popularity as the 90’s rolled around with the heavy and or thrash metal scene. Though eventually, something changed, something no viewer thought was gonna happen. It started with the TV shows slowly at first. Shows like “Beavis and Butthead” would be taking over the featured programming but even still there was at least some form of comedy even if it really just appealed to high school kids and stoners.
Jump forward about 8-9 years and there was a show whose name I can’t mention but still included a wide array of raunchy characters including but not limited to Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and Chris Pontius. The stunts and frequent inclusions of various music icons throughout the shows run and eventual 3 movies, still kept to the heart and spirit of what was MTV. But time and tide move for no one. Times move on and so did people and eventually, there was no actual need for MTV to show music videos as the rise of sites like YouTube that would later rise to their fame and show all these videos and things without any charge or any cable fee. So people made a rational decision and turned their back on MTV.
Unsplash: Diego Gonzalez
Once this happened MTV no longer had use for music videos etc. They began to display TV shows that would later become huge success’. A perfect example of such a show could and would definitely be Teen Mom which first aired December 8th, 2009. Later in 2010 MTV decided to make a move that essentially killed the name MTV in itself, as of then MTV technically doesn’t mean anything. The music in the name Music Television was literally removed though this followed in the channels new direction away from music but honestly, nobody watches music videos on TV anymore and this channel is like an animal losing a fight for survival desperately clinging to life or in this case their dying/over-hyped fame. But of course, I cannot lie as there are many successful reality TV shows that MTV has aired including Jersey shore and its ever-expanding list of spin-offs. There’s also the extremely popular Ridiculousness which has been going strong for 17 seasons and has amassed quite an audience.
As a channel MTV has lost itself for good, while yes they do play music videos on their channel these are virtually limited to insomniacs airing only from around 1 am to 5 am. The channel has lost themselves and has even undermined the considerations of fans etc just to keep their ratings up. It’s genuinely almost enough to make you think the Dead Kennedys were right. It is time for MTV to get off the air.