One World, One Image, One Channel: A History of MTV

Twenty years ago, a start-up television network flickered into homes across America with the words, “Ladies and gentlemen, rock `n’ roll.” Since then, MTV has dominated American popular culture with a fusion of media. MTV combined television and radio, two of the most popular mediums at the time, and added a raw flair that was distinctively youth oriented. It was the first network to speak directly to the teenage/young adult market and the first network to bring televised music to the masses 24 hours a day. There was no beginning, middle or end to its programs. The network strived to evoke emotions in its viewers through music, visuals and presentation. As MTV began to grow as a network and as a corporation, its programming changed while retaining the network’s raw feel. Currently, the total MTV franchise is worth about 20 billion dollars and has offices in 35 countries. Its total viewing population globally approaches one billion through 22 customized feeds in 18 different languages. In America alone, MTV is available to 77 million households (Graham). The network has suffered from negative criticism saying that it has lost its original goals but even with its massive expansion, MTV still maintains its original character as a teenage driven, sexually charged, fun-filled purveyor of televised music.

The concept of music television rose in the late 1970’s due to the need for an outlet for new ideals and culture. American music was dominated by corporate rock, most rock radio stations refused to play new artists. Instead, they resorted to classic rock from years past. Disco was at its peak and punk was just beginning. Music clips, usually short films of live performances, were becoming popular in Europe near the end of the decade, fueled by bands such as Pink Floyd and Duran Duran. American recording labels also made clips that were sent overseas to promote their artists. There was no consideration of using the clips domestically to promote music. In 1977, ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith created a concept-oriented music clip to promote his song “Rio.” He was one of the first American artists to use video as a medium; he pioneered the first “music video.” Music movies had been popular since the 1960’s with the Beatles’ movies and shows such as The Who’s Tommy, where the music was used as a soundtrack to the story. But short segments were utilized on European shows like Top of the Pops, as well as for advertisements. Music shows on American television consisted of American Bandstand and Soul Train, hosted by Dick Clark and Don Cornelius, respectively. Both of them were significantly older than their target audience. Although a powerful staple in the music community, The Ed Sullivan Show had been cancelled in 1971. All of these classic shows spotlighted artists, but were only on for one hour daily or weekly. There were a few late-night live music shows like The Midnight Special (which premiered in 1973), but there was no stable outlet for new artists.

In 1979, John Lack, the executive vice president of programming and marketing for Warner Cable began a new video music project. Warner Communications had combined with American Express to form the Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Company (WASEC), one of the most powerful media conglomerates of the time, encompassing film, television, music and books. Lack hired Robert Pittman, a radio program executive, as director of WASEC’s pay-TV division. Together, they began researching the idea (Banks 30).

MTV has been referred to as “the most researched channel in history” (Banks 33). Lack and Pittman left almost nothing to chance. The plan was to create an all music channel directed towards teenagers and young adults. The concept of a demographically directed network was in its infancy. American television was just coming out of the Network Era where the major networks scheduled their programming to appeal to the masses; demographic networks had not been fully developed. Nickelodeon had been launched in 1979 as the first network with all children’s programming. There was no network specifically for teens and young adults. In 1980, after much deliberation, WASEC released a test program on Nickelodeon entitled Pop Clips. It was a daily, half-hour show produced by Michael Nesmith that featured music clips from popular artists in a Top 40 format. Lack and Pittman hoped to reach the older watchers of Nickelodeon. Through research, they concluded the average viewer (of what would come to be known as MTV) was a 23-24-year-old white affluent male living in the suburbs. Lack and Pittman decided that this fledgling network would be marketed solely to this demographic (Banks 34). They chose a white dominated rock format devoid of black artists or other genres. They justified this decision with the fact that blacks lived in communities that were not yet wired for cable, and therefore would not be able to receive the network.

At 12:01AM, August 1, 1981, MTV burst onto the scene with the Buggles song “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Nothing could have been more appropriate for the moment. The video streamed into 2.1 million homes nationwide through 225 cable systems and the music industry changed forever. Many have compared the advent of music videos with the advent of talking films in the 1920’s. In both cases, there was an element missing from the performer. Silent film stars did not have to talk and radio musicians did not need a pretty face; all of this changed after both media were hit with new technologies.

MTV did not want to look like the standard television network with suits walking around and talking heads reciting endless lines of text. Instead, it aimed at a younger audience; the sets and lighting flourished under a small budget, and the majority of dialogue on the show was improvised. MTV coined the term “vee-jays,” a spoof of the radio dee-jay (disc jockey). The original video jockeys (Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn, Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, J.J. Jackson) were five amicable, non-threatening young (except for J.J. Jackson who was a recognized soul musician in the late 1960’s, he was 30-years-old in 1981) people. Vee-jays would introduce the upcoming music clips, inform viewers of music news and concert information, and conduct interviews with popular artists. Their images were carefully chosen through much research and sampling, and they were hired based on their marketing potential. MTV officials were chastised by critics for disregarding their musical knowledge or professional skills in the audition process. They were unrehearsed, raw and inexperienced. This untamed youthful energy gave MTV much of its trademark attitude.

In the beginning, MTV only had about 120 videos in its library. These were played on constant rotation cut with segments from vee-jays. The videos composed about 80% of the programming on the network. Because music clips were not very popular among American artists, executives turned to old footage of live concerts and shows as well as clips by British artists such as Duran Duran, the Eurythmics and Human League. These artists were creating a completely new sound for which there was no term. It was christened “new music” which soon became “new wave.” It was defined by heavy synthesized sounds and dance beats. This music was mixed with anew generation of American rock ‘n’ roll to comprise MTV’s video repertoire. In October of 1981, MTV hosted its first celebrity contest entitled “One Night Stand with Journey” where one lucky viewer got to spend the night with the band Journey. The contest defined MTV as a viewer’s network: one whose content was dependant on the viewers preferences and involves the viewers in everyday programming. This event began a trend that continued with contests such as ‘A Weekend with Van Halen,’ and ‘Bon Jovi in Your Backyard.’

Although the network seemed to be comfortable in its position as a rock music channel, the music industry began to criticize MTV because it refused to include different gneres of music, especially music by minority artists, in its programming. In a study conducted in 1984 over a two day period on MTV, 83% of the videos featured a white male singer or bandleader, 11% featured white females and only 5% featured non-white musicians of either sex (Brown et al.). the network hid behind the fact that they were a roc oriented chanel and non-rock music (espeically the emergining gnere of hip hop) did not fit with their format. It was an issue of a music barrier, not a color barrier. This dilemma finally received heavy media attention in early 1983 when Rick James was interviewed for the Los Angeles Times (as quoted in Rolling Stone) saying,

I’m just tired of the bullshit. I have sold over 10 million records in a four-year period… and I can’t get on the channel. I watch all these fluffed-up groups who don’t even sell four records on a program that I’m being excluded from. Me and everyone of my peers – Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, the Gap Band, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson – have great videos. Why doesn’t MTV show them? It’s like taking black people back 400 years (Connelly).

The dam finally broke with Michael Jackson in 1983. Jackson was a major pop superstar by this point and had just released the album Thriller featuring the song “Billie Jean.” Jackson was a CBS recording artist and CBS executives wanted the video on MTV in order to promote the album. It is rumored that when MTV refused to air the video (claiming that it did not fit the format), CBS threatened to pull all of their other artists’ videos off of MTV’s rotation (Kaplan 74). CBS recording artists composed approximately 25% of the videos shown on the network including Pink Floyd and Journey. The tiny network had no other option but to air the video, which turned out to be one of the greatest things that ever happened for MTV. This forced breakdown of MTV’s initial narrow structure resulted in the explosion of MTV and Michael Jackson’s solo career. The video propelled Jackson into the homes of millions of Americans and his resulting popularity solidified MTV as a musical force. Since then, MTV has embraced artists of all colors and genres. The first music video to feature and interracial coulple, Duran Duran’s video “Hungry Like the Wolf,” aired in 1984 and was celebrated by audiences nationwide.

MTV also met other challenges on its way up the cable channel hierarchy. In the beginning, some cable providers refused to add the channel to their cable roster, citing simply that it promoted violence and sexual depravity in its content via music and images. Many also were not prepared for the drastic change in the medium with the combination of radio and television as one entity. This was the case in two major marketing capitals, New York and Los Angeles. By not broadcasting in these two cities, MTV missed out on much of its due publicity as a radical new form of television. MTV needed a national advertising campaign to encourage cable companies to support their network and make consumers aware of the new product. In 1982, the channel began its resounding “I Want My MTV!” campaign. Featured musicians blinked onto the television shouting “I want my MTV!” repeatedly until it became an anthem for kids across America. Peter Townsend, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Idol and more were encouraging viewers to get up and call their cable company and say, “I want my MTV!” The line was inescapable. MTV grew dramatically and was available in 18 million homes by the end of December 1983 (22% of all US homes with a television (Fry)) including New York. Group W, the major cable provider in New York City added MTV in 1983. Until this campaign, the network had been taking losses every year. Between its birth in 1981 and 1983, it reported about $33.9 million in lost funds. In 1984, it recorded its first profit, approximately $12 million (Banks). This profit coincided with WASEC’s dissolution. The revenue was split into thirds between Warner Communications, American Express and MTV Networks. The channel was now its own corporation.

By the beginning of 1984, MTV was no longer a fledgling channel but a respected network dedicated to the music of its loyal viewers. As a new medium for music, it drastically changed the industry regarding how music was marketed and how it was consumed. It offered executives another method of promoting artists instead of concert tours and radio; now potential customers would be able to see the artist as well as hear the music in their homes. MTV also reached a much larger audience than any concert tour would. In a Nielsen study conducted in October 1982 of 2000 potential MTV viewers, 85% said that they watched MTV at an average of 4.6 hours per week and 63% of the viewers said that they had purchased a musician’s album after seeing the clip (Aufderheide). Artists featured on MTV climbed the charts at an alarming rate: music stores claimed to order extra units if the music had been on MTV and in 1984, the National Association for Record Manufacturers gave the Presidential Award to MTV for reviving the industry.

Because of its strong following in a key demographic, advertisers swamped the channel with requests for commercial time. MTV was a powerhouse of standard American marketing thereby changing the economic balance for industries outside of music. MTV defined style and the artists became known not only for their music but for their clothes and attitude as well. The channel became a excellent example of what was cool in fashion at the moment. In the early eighties, during the era of Cyndi Lauper and Madonna, girls were going out and buying lace gloves, black lace boustiers and frilled socks. Clothing companies loved the network, because an advertisement on during one of its most popular time slots was a guaranteed increase in business. By June 1983, MTV had sold advertising time to 140 companies representing more than 240 consumer products (Kaplan 12).

Now that MTV had settled into its position in American cable television, it began to expand its content. In 1986, it began its annual tradition of moving to some beautiful location for Spring Break. The first “MTV Spring Break” was held in Fort Lauderdale, FL., a classic spot for spring breakers. With live music, guest star appearances and drunken good fun, the network explored another type of music/television interaction. Thousands of spring breaking college students flocked to Ft. Lauderdale to party with the MTV crew. It was a fast success and has been repeated every year. In fact, it was so successful that MTV expanded the concept to include the summer. Part of the MTV family would be sent to some tropical spot to do shows over the course of the summer and loyal fans would be waiting for them. This is how Pauly Shore found MTV and became one of the most charismatic and memorable vee-jays in its history.

As MTV grew as a network, its programming needed to vary as well. In 1984, it introduced its first awards show, the Video Music Awards. Then in 1992, it was followed by the MTV Movie Awards. This demonstrated that MTV no longer had to play only for the music: it was integral in all parts of the media. The first show that was aired with a non-musical format was Remote Control (1988). It was a game show hosted by Ken Ober targeted at college students. The contestants would lounge in armchairs and answer questions regarding inane television and popular culture trivia. The show was quite successful, spawning many careers including Colin Quinn (Saturday Night Live), Adam Sandler (Saturday Night Live) and Jon Stewart (Daily Show). MTV now had a comedy department as well. Other shows quickly popped into the programming schedule including spotlights on comedians like Sandra Bernhard and Ben Stiller and shows like The State and Oddville. The network also began to venture into animation which included amazing shows like Liquid Television, Beavis and Butthead, and more recently, Daria and Celebrity Deathmatch all of which have been met with critical acclaim. In past years, the network has been pushing the envelope with comedy shows like The Tom Green Show and Jackass, which pushed reality, based comedy into the mainstream and created generational and comedic controversy.

Comedy and music were not MTV’s only strong points. Eventually, MTV became a general network as opposed to just music and it now featured shows like Singled Out (twenty something dating show), MTV Sports, “The Real World” (a reality based soap opera before reality tv was cool) and so on. MTV is not restricted by as many common conventions as the major networks. It is producing content for a specific demographic, therefore it manages to spotlight certain shows that normally could not survive on one of the major networks, such as My So Called Life, a show from the early nineties which was originally aired on ABC about a plain fourteen year old girl in high school dealing with standard high school issues. The show was dropped from the network only to find major success in syndication on MTV. It was a major hit among these viewers for many of them were going through the same problems. The show catapulted Claire Daines into a bona-fide actress. MTV then expanded into movies, making full-length films to be shown on the channel like Anatomy of a Hate Crime, a reenactment of the events leading to the brutal death of openly gay Matthew Shepard and Carmen, a hip-hop infused musical movie (”hip-hopera”). MTV Productions also makes movies that are released in the theaters, most recently Save the Last Dance and other such movies appealing to their standard demographic. These films can attribute their success to heavy promotion on the television network.

MTV proved that it was not just an American popular culture factory when it began to deal with serious issues such as covering benefit concerts like Live Aid (1984), USA for Africa (1984) and the Tibetan Freedom Concert (1996). The network then developed its own news division, dedicated to informing its viewers of music and national news. During the 1992 presidential campaign, MTV sponsored a “Choose or Lose” campaign, encouraging teenagers to get out and vote. Newsmen like Kurt Loder and John Norris asked the candidates questions that were of interest to the younger voters.

Over the past twenty years, MTV has been a major influence on the music industry. As the first venue for a multi-medium combining music and television it had an immediate effect on the way music was produced, marketed and consumed. MTV was the first channel aimed at a 14-25-year-old demographic thereby changing the way non-musical television was produced as well. In the beginning, the channel’s focus was only music, airing only music videos, but in the most recent years the focus has been altered to encompass many interests of young adults. The network itself has divided into several different networks, specialized for international music and it continues to influence young adults across the globe. MTV has changed the direction of music, television and global culture in its short time and the transitions are irreversible.

MTV’s programming has changed drastically since its inception. When it began broadcasting, MTV only aired music videos interrupted by commercials. Its format was welcomed by cable television and the network quickly expanded. Now the shows on MTV include dating series, reality-based dramas, animated series, risky comedy shows and more. Ten years ago, MTV introduced its first reality-based drama, The Real World that featured seven strangers picked to live in a house and have their lives filmed. “Find out what happens when people stop being nice and start being real,” was the slogan. The concept of reality television had been briefly introduced but did not become popular until The Real World became a runaway success. Viewers became engaged in the daily lives of the residents and tuned in regularly to find out what drama would unfold next.

Other shows on the network relied on the lives of MTV viewers for its content such as FANatic, and Total Request Live. FANatic offers individuals a chance to meet their favorite celebrities. After receiving thousands of videos from eager fans explaining why they should meet a particular artist, MTV picks the most deserving individual according to devotion and charisma and gives them the chance to interview their favorite musician or actor.

By far the most successful of the viewer-based shows is Total Request Live (TRL). It is a daily countdown show hosted by MTV heartthrob, Carson Daly. The show is on from 3:00-4:30pm every day, a prime slot which gives children a reason to rush home after school. Viewers are encouraged to vote online or call in for their favorite videos, and Carson hosts the countdown. Often the videos are not played in full to make room for the clips of screaming fans inside and outside the New York studio, along with snippets of email sent in by fans all over the country. The show is also padded with interviews with visiting celebrities and contests involving the studio audience. Although the videos on TRL are play at least five times per day outside of the show, the success of the program depends on the coordinated involvement of MTV viewers across the country. For the past six years TRL has been a staple of MTV afternoons, allowing lucky fans to voice their adoration for a particular artist or band and giving musicians a chance to connect with their fans. TRL has also introduced and endorsed artists who have quickly become popular owing to their appearance on TRL, such as the group Limp Bizkit whose first public appearance was on the show. Fred Durst, the lead singer, has publicly thanked TRL for its help in the band’s success.

MTV has also aired controversial shows both in live action and in animation. Programs such at Jackass, The Tom Green Show and The Andy Dick Show are in a risqué reality based comedy/parody genre that has under critical scrutiny for being gross or over the top in its raunchy humor, although MTV audiences embrace them. Jackass features a dozen twenty-something skateboarders putting themselves and the general public in non-fatal situations with hilarious results. They set up pranks such as a Speedo clad man running through downtown or a ‘security guard’ (one of the ensemble actors in a security uniform) asking individuals to keep away from public spaces. Jackass is based on a candid camera formula sprinkled with the cast doing physical gags such as catapulting each other off of a ramp while riding a donkey on wheels. One of the classic skits is known as “Nut ball” where the ‘actors’ sport white briefs with targets painted on the crotch and throw small rubber balls at each other. The first person to stop from the pain loses. This infantile vulgarity is popular in Jackass as well as other shows in this genre.

The Tom Green Show is another variant on the candid camera formula except the host (Tom Green) is even more annoying than the men from Jackass. Tom Green’s annoying and in-your-face personality define the show. He insists on harassing people on the street until he receives a reaction. Often Green will walk closely behind pedestrians yelling an inane phrase at them or pour soda all over himself and run up to hug people passing by. The sequence usually ends in Green being carted off or punched. The show relies on extremity and offensiveness. No one is safe from his antics, he will terrorize his parents to a degree unheard of such as erect a life size fountain of his parents have sex ‘doggy style’ on their front lawn. Another classic moment, which has gone down in the history of MTV, is Green sucking on a cow’s teat in a barn. His humor is distasteful and gross but teenagers love him.

The Andy Dick Show is different from both of prior programs although it is lumped into this group. Andy Dick is an actor who made a name for him on the popular NBC show NewsRadio. His simple-minded humor and antics made him an easily likable character. At first, many critics underestimated his comedic skills but Dick’s show on MTV silenced anyone who questioned his skill. The Andy Dick Show parodies popular culture and much of the other content on the network including music videos, pop stars, Jackass, The Tom Green Show and other programming. One of his famous characters is Daphne Aguillera, cousin of Christine Aguillera and teen pop sensation. He jabs at the public’s acceptance of a teenage, blonde pop star by making Daphne loud, brazen, unattractive and full of herself. She constantly chain smokes cigarettes and cannot dance or sing. The show has very little to do with music, instead it parodies popular American culture.

In the nineties, there was little time for music videos on the channel with this massive change in programming content. In order to return to the original goals of the network (to fuse television with music and create a outlet for new artists), MTV started a sister channel known as MTV2 (M2) in 1996 which shows music videos and concerts 24 hours a day. At first, there were no commercials on M2, but as a pay channel, it was unavailable to most people nationwide. Now the channel is being integrated into standard cable rosters. Most recently MTVX, a separate channel dedicated to rock music, was launched. MTV Networks continued its expansion in 1983 with the launch of CMT (Country Music Television) and VH1 (Video Hits 1) in January 1985. VH1 was aimed at 25-44 year-olds. VH1’s programming features current and classic music videos, concerts, performance series, live special events, acquired box-office movies, music-based news and celebrity interviews as well as original series and made-for-VH1 movies. The musical content of MTV and VH1 often overlap but the channels’ structures are very different. VH1 centers on music and the feel of the channel is more mature than MTV due to its focus demographic. VH1 is not restricted by the short attention span of the younger demographic that MTV markets to nor is it restricted by pop culture standards such as boy bands and teen pop stars. Viacom, one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, owns MTV. Not only do they own all MTV networks and subsidiaries but in 2000, Viacom also purchased the holdings of BET (Black Entertainment Television), which airs music videos. Viacom has established a monopoly over music television.

MTV has expanded internationally as well, reaching more than 340 million households in 140 countries via 31 local TV channels and 17 websites (Viacom.com). Launched in 1987, MTV Europe is a 24-hour English language network aimed at viewers aged 16-34; it reaches more than 100 million households. In 1996, MTV Europe divided into four separate services according to region, including MTV UK&Ireland, MTV Central, MTV European and MTV Southern. Other regional MTV networks include MTV Brazil (1990), MTV Asia and Japan (1991), MTV Latin (three separate channels: North South and Central in 1993) and MTV Russia, which was launched in September of 1998 and reaches more than 18 million homes. This channel marked the first time a western television network has been customized specifically for Russian youth ages 14-34.

MTV has drastically affected the music industry. The network popularized the music video as another way of marketing music. It is often difficult to differentiate music videos that look like commercials and commercials that look like music videos. Most recently Pepsi embarked on a new marketing scheme featuring pop stars like Britney Spears, Shakira and Wyclef Jean singing their adoration for Pepsi. MTV endorses and advertises popular music and culture no matter how distasteful or trite it may be. Products featured on MTV are ordered in large numbers by stores and are purchased quickly. Music promoted on the channel moves to the top of the charts and the artists owe their success to MTV.

Many critics feel that MTV has strayed from its original goal of promoting music and has turned to promoting anything that will sell to teenagers and young adults. This demographic group is impressionable and is without expenses. All of the money made from allowances and part time jobs is reinvested in entertainment. Instead of simply promoting music, the channel has pushed the industry towards producing MTV-friendly acts. Since only a small percentage of albums released every year are successful, recording labels will discard artists who do not fit the MTV format for pop stars. Because of MTV, many artists do not even have the chance to have their music recorded and. MTV promotes fashion as well as music. Clothes worn by vee-jays and artists quickly become the latest style and are worn by teenagers across the country. The Network also peddles books and technology as well. MTV mp3 players and alarm clocks are sold through MTV’s website and in stores around the country.

As a marketing vehicle, MTV has affected the way products are advertised to youth, not only in scripts and situations but in production as well. All of these aspects combine to create a mold for other networks to follow. Other channels that are looking to acquire the same demographic have adopted the fast paced editing of music videos and other shows on the network. Fox, UPN and the WB broadcast pop music festivals featuring artists who are regulars on MTV.

America is a commercially driven society and MTV fosters these ideals in younger generations. In a society where social status and personal worth are defined by image, consumers are desperate to know what is popular and fashionable. Young adults can turn to MTV to discover the latest trends, who is sporting them and where to buy them. MTV has the power to create fads and then endorse, sell and profit from them. Product placement within the shows is a massive source of income for the MTV Network; in shows like The Real World, Dr. Pepper is featured in the can such that the audience can read the label while Coca-cola must be poured into a glass before drinking. MTV most recently moved to Times Square, which is considered the marketing capitol of the world. The ten square block area is packed to capacity with billboards and giant screens advertising everything from underwear to cameras and the picture windows in the studio overlook this marketing spectacle. Although MTV has a strict “no advertising” policy in videos, these giant billboards are not blurred out during filming and companies profit from the “accidental” placement of their ads. There is no way to avoid the advertising in their everyday on-the-street shots and many potential advertisers take advantage of this prime location.

MTV has drastically accelerated the trend towards globalization by working as an international pop culture and advertising giant. The channel and its variants reach over 340 million homes worldwide and the basic format is consistent from country to country. Millions of Russian, Japanese and Italian teens are watching the equivalent of Britney Spears shaking her barely clothed body in a music video followed by her shaking her barely clothed body in a Pepsi commercial. Sexual liberation is encouraged in American culture, but this is not the standard for the rest of the world, nor should it be. MTV promotes Americanization among the youth of other nations who hunger to be in style with the western world. It also publishes American artists who have incorporated other cultural phenomenon such as Indian and Asian music as well as international clothing with an American twist. This sampling of other cultures also makes American music more accessible in other societies where the music itself may not be as popular as the images accompanying it.

Is American culture is the proper choice for which the rest of the world to be modeling itself after? With our liberal viewpoints regarding sex and youth culture, it may be a step down from many other international markets that are not based on a consumer society. American culture endorses the rebellion that so many teenagers feel around the world but MTV is not necessarily informing its viewers on the alternatives to dressing skimpy and spending all of one’s money on cars and women (a common theme in much of popular hip hop). Instead, it throws images of sex and decadence at the viewer without creating a distinction between reality and fantasy. As a global society continues to form through the internet and other multi-media sources, MTV does its best to promote an international community of music lovers but is inadvertently creating a community of people who like to see 16 year-olds dance around half naked as well. MTV is now promoting unity through images and the music is no longer the driving force behind the network. Another unfortunate repercussion of the globalization of MTV is the perpetuation of bad music. The industry has entered a phase where bubblegum pop is the music of choice for most teenagers, songs are not written by the artists and studio magic is implemented to create a voice. Now the ‘artist’ only has to stay in shape and dance well. Whether or not MTV is promoting music, it is promoting a global community of hungry teens who are looking for an outlet for their raging hormones. A slogan from MTV in the mid-80’s phrases the present situation perfectly,

One World, One Image, One Channel.

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About charisselpree

The Media Made Me Crazy
This entry was posted in Early Work in Media Studies, Research and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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