“MTV doesn’t even play music videos anymore!”
Have you ever said this or heard someone say this? If so, you or they are right! Rarely does MTV play music videos, and these days if it does, it’s not usually the whole video. When it was originally launched in 1981, MTV (Music Television) was intended to be a channel dedicated to music and music videos. In 2010, MTV no longer includes “Music Television” in their logo. They are not a music television channel. Perhaps it would be more fitting to call them an entertainment channel; they play reality shows, a little bit of music news, live talk shows, and sometimes documentaries. They don’t pretend they’re all about music, and they’ve shown that by rebranding themselves (and excluding the Music Television from their logo).
How do I feel about this? Well I love music, and when I was younger I watched the MuchMusic countdown the whole way through most Friday nights. However, I don’t really care about music videos anymore. I listen to music almost exclusively on my iPod, and I’m usually doing a bunch of other stuff while listening. I don’t sit down on the couch to “watch” music.
It’s not about me though. Even if I was a die-hard music video fan, I’d understand why MTV wasn’t catering to me. Most people don’t care about music videos anymore! If they do, they’re going to watch them on YouTube, and not wait for them to come up on a music channel’s rotation. Most people DO care about seeing celebrities on television, and say what you will about that fact, it’s a fact. Why would MTV cater to a small audience when they could meet the needs of the masses? It’s just the way it is.
If people care about celebrities (and by people, I mean people ages 14-28, which has always been the MTV audience), then MTV should work to be the network showing the best celebrity content, or even better – creating celebrities themselves. Did I know who Snooki or The Situation were before Jersey Shore? No. But I certainly know who they are now! If you don’t care about Jersey Shore, then I understand, but you are unfortunately of the minority.
As always, take what I say with a grain of salt. I just think that what MTV puts out meets and exceeds the desires of their majority audience. Music videos or not, they’re a force to be reckoned with.