Does MTV & Music Video TV Still Have an Influence in Pop Culture
MTV was, in the 1980s, groundbreaking as the first major music video TV channel. The channel became so important that, for most top music artists, producing a music video was to become nearly as important as the music itself.
Today, there are many different ways of seeing music videos. These include watching the many digital TV channels, buying DVDs, watching videos on websites, and using a catch up TV service like YouView, which makes live TV less important. The ability to record music videos on recordable TV is another easy way that music fans can choose to watch music videos. Because some TV stations also have their own type of web-based player, which shows recent programmes, videos can also be watched this way.
It is really the rise of the Internet that has diminished the power of MTV. Virtually any artist who makes music can make a music video at little cost, and upload it for free on the Internet. The amount of hits that popular artists can get for their videos, when posted on the net, is staggering (thats right, 800 million views!). Big music companies can not only post their videos for free now, but can even include advertising in their own video. The music video has, effectively, become an advertising tool for music companies and artists, and that is MTV’s legacy. If a music video is hugely popular, then the effect on music sales are only likely to be beneficial.
Though MTV is still important, it’s influence has become somewhat diluted because of all the competition from major media companies. Whether MTV will be able to become more innovative and regain some of its influence of 20-30 years ago is open to question. Aspects of MTV remain treasured, and its annual awards are among the most prestigious to win in the music industry.
MTV has been responsible for some of music’s most famous moments, most notably when screening the Michael Jackson video for his album ‘Thriller’ in 1983. It made other artists take note and realise that they would have to raise their game and supply fans and the media with much more than just music.
The music video itself remains a potent way of promoting an artist, and that isn’t going to change. There is a greater desire among music fans to also see artists live however, and the future of the music video may involve increasingly more live, ‘real’ footage. It will be interesting to see if music video TV itself adapts enough to survive.