Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The day the music (video) died

Yesterday, MTV announced it's changing its logo to drop the reference to music and instead feature its reality TV stars. Now, my TV-watching doesn't generally lead me to MTV unless I'm following America's Best Dance Crew, but I still found myself a little surprised by this. In its 80s heyday, I remember watching MTV at my friend Jenny Peterson's house (she used to kiss the TV whenever a Michael Jackson video was on) and I also watched the channel with one of my babysitters (I'm pretty sure we weren't supposed to be doing this). Even in college, you might've found me occasionally watching the top videos and live performances on TRL (Total Request Live).

These days though, you don't need to spend much time watching MTV to know that the music part is fast becoming history. Just sit through one commercial break and watch the shows they promote. And while I think it's sad they're putting a bigger spotlight on "reality" shows, I have to concede that this probably was the right move for MTV.

Who needs a TV network to watch music videos or hear interviews with their favorite musician anymore? Artist websites, blogs, You Tube and Twitter accounts allow fans to follow the music--and the lives--of their favorite musicians anytime. The artists no longer need a TV network's help to showcase their new music, personality or creativity. I would much prefer to seek out this kind information on the musicians I enjoy when I want it instead of waiting for them (or their videos) to make an MTV appearance. Plus, there is only so much Beyonce and Lady Gaga one can take.

MTV has never even scratched the surface of all the great musical talent out there, most of which never gets the powerhouse record company behind it to help push their videos into the top ten. So maybe this isn't all that newsworthy after all. Just another sign of the times!


  1. I've never really thought about how music television really isn't needed anymore, but you bring up good points. I am definitely not a fan of the current MTV, but for nostalgic reasons (TRL, Making the Video, etc.) I would prefer to see the spotlight on real talent versus what appears to be attracting young people to that network today (i.e. trashy wannabe stars).

  2. Wow, how many hours did I spend as a youth watching MTV? Many I can tell you. Martha Quinn bringing you the newest videos was must watch TV for a part of the 80s.
    Remember the build-up for the premier of Thriller? Those were the days. Not like today when everything is available to kids almost anywhere they are.

  3. I guess if video killed the radio star then reality tv killed the video star . . . but who cares about all that - the Olympics start TONIGHT!!!!!

  4. And that makes me wonder . . . who will kill the reality tv star??

  5. LOL Laura! We'll probably find out who killed the reality start in about 20 years. But you're right, who cares?! Go USA!!!!!!