The Importance of MTV

October 25th, 2010


             In 1981 MTV was introduced for the very first time.  The executives had good intentions when they decided it was time to bring rock music to the viewers.  There target audience were men and women between the ages of twelve to thirty-four.  The main goal of the operation was to get the baby boomers to open up their wallets because they felt that this was the peak of consumer spending in the United States.

             Two huge companies Time Warner Inc. and American Express decided to go into business together as partners.  Their mission was to attempt for the very first time to provide innovative programming to cable television. 

             To the surprise of many big corporations in America television in the 1980’s proved to be a much better promoter for popular music than it was for their competition radio and motion pictures.

             At the end of the 1980’s MTV reached over 40 million people mostly teenagers who became the focal point of advertisers because they were the one’s who purchased the music in stores.

             A music video had become just as important as it was to record music. Music Video’s became the alternative to am and fm radio.  MTV made sure a music video was played three to five times a day, seven days a week for up to two months.

             By 1990 MTV music video was in 56 million homes.  That was a larger audience than “American Bandstand” and the “ED Sullivan Show.”

             The key to MTV success was a new group of performers who introduced pop music to the world.  These artists were Paula Abdul, Madonna, and the “king of pop” himself Michael Jackson.  They wore outrageous outfits and had fantastic choreography.  Their clothing was just as important as their music was because the clothing told us who they were as a person. It brought out their personality and made people curious.  They wanted to know more about the artist. 

            Instead of having a performance on Network TV the rock video had a complete performance that could be constructed and edited on videotape.

            Unfortunately, making a music video was very expensive but the rewards were even higher.  Michael Jackson’s thriller album sold over 40 million copies worldwide becoming the most successful product in the history of recorded sound.

             The success of Thriller lead to a major marketing campaign which highlight world tours, groups, stars, and profits for the big corporations.  Many companies rushed to get music videos on the shelf of stores because they were in high demand.   People wanted to watch their favorite music videos over and over again which surprised the record company.  It lead to huge profits.

             Overall, I believe MTV was huge because of the upcoming stars.  I feel they got lucky.  After all there was only one Michael Jackson and one Madonna two huge stars that happened to be around in the early 1980’s.  I also feel it was huge that they could construct and edit a complete performance on video tape.  To me that was the key to MTV success.

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4 Responses to “The Importance of MTV”

  1. Pine Cupboard · on November 3, 2010 4:58 pm

    the music industry is getting bigger because more and more people likes to hear new music artists and new genres “

  2. Chrome Towel Radiator on December 2, 2010 3:43 pm

    the music industry would always be a thriving industry specially these days where we listen to a lot of music ,-,

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