MTV used to reign supreme. At its height, the music channel helped launch the careers of many superstars of its era. Video Killed the Radio Star rocketed music into a revolution. Now, you have to stay up late or get up early to see videos on the once Music Television channel.
They say music piracy has hurt the industry. While this may be true, nothing has hurt music more than the loss of MTV. One of the main platforms for artists was their music videos. Not only was an expression of free will it gave the artist exposure. So much so that music videos quickly became feature film quality productions.
Then came the reality tv era.
Gone were the days of rushing home to watch Total Request Live. The countdowns were gone and so was the artist’s exposure to the fans. People traded in music for cookie cutter shows all with the same concept. No longer could you get the latest music and entertainment news between a block of your favorite songs. Video premiers used to be a huge thing. MTV even still does Video Music Awards. Are there any music videos in sight?
Nope. Now we’re stuck with Real World knockoffs and Teen Mom.
Saying that illegally downloading music is the alternative to paying is ridiculous. Programs like Spotify, Pandora and Apple music offer subscription based services. Proving if it’s good enough, people will pay for it. Even today there are still youtube channels and apps dedicated to music and bring artists to the forefront. Unfortunately for the music industry, none are as successful as the music giant.
Country music was almost never seen on MTV. Coincidentally, CMT still plays country music videos. So why is country music at an all time high? There hasn’t been a huge culture change. Country music is dominating because there’s still a means to get the artists seen. Music and performing go hand in hand. The artists who blow up big are the ones who can put on a good show. Any artist with a hit song can get 15 minutes of fame. Stay power came from the ones who can be put in front of a crowd and perform.
MTV killed off that connection to the audience. Sure everyone loved when a new song came on the radio. Fans just wanted more. Maybe people aren’t sitting down to watch videos anymore. Maybe Youtube has killed the market. Or maybe MTV fell into the trap that ESPN has and have a limited amount of material for an all day affair. The same old videos, hundreds of times a day, day in and day out gets old. So what did they do? Killed it off altogether. Piracy might be wounding the industry, but MTV is killing it.