This Sunday, MTV turns 40. The dawn of cable TV gave birth to channels that were specialized. There were kids channels like Nickelodeon. There were cooking channels. And there was MTV… launched as a visual form of radio. They had their own radio DJs called VJs. And everyone knows that little bit of trivia about the first music video MTV ever played.
So what happened to music videos on MTV? This YouTube video about to show you is BRUTALLY honest. The crazy thing? It’s already 10 years old.
For those of us who grew up in the ’80s, MTV was our best friend after school. Watching music videos, Spring Break craziness, and those early MTV Video Music Awards were an essential part of the decade. If you’re a 90s kid, you kept the tradition alive when you voted for your favorite Backstreet Boys or Blink 182 video on TRL and then tuned in to MTV to watch Carson Daly to see if your video made it to #1. But then something happened. The music videos went away.
It started with the game show Remote Control (which I loved). Even though it knocked music videos off the air, Remote Control still had that MTV vibe and music was a big part of the show. But then we got The Real World. Again… I was a fan for those first few seasons. There was less music in The Real World, but music videos still occupied real estate on the daily MTV schedule. Before we knew it, music videos were just shown overnight. Why? What happened? Why does MTV still call itself MTV since the “M” stood for music?
Do you really want to know the answer? You probably don’t to be honest. It’s half technology’s fault and half yours. This video you’re about to watch is harsh. I’m warning you now. Turn back now if you’re offended by some profanity (it’s bleeped out) and raw honesty. It’s a comedy video, but for those of us in our 40s, it might not be so funny. The truth hurts.