Thursday, December 08, 2005

What's wrong with MTV?

Have you watched MTV recently? Probably not, because the last time you did you probably did not see the music videos you were looking for but instead got episodes of "Drunken Teen Roommates Arguing" or "That One Rapper Putting Shit Into Junker Cars." Clearly MTV has decided that, despite receiving big-budget videos for free from the labels, their network will get better ratings (and better profits) from lifestyle programming.

Today, MTV has very few videos running during the day and evening. Other than TRL - their daily top ten show with a largely teeny-bopper audience - Mothership MTV airs almost no music videos. Strange, but true.

Viacom, who owns MTV, has many other channels for you to watch - MTV2, VH1, MTVJams and now they even bought BET. Plus there are non-Viacom channels like Fuse, GAC, CMT and many more. You can catch lots of videos on these other, non-mothership networks - and they are even tailored more to your specific taste (MTV Latino, anyone?). If you know which channel to turn to (and that is often a big if) it might actually be easier to find a video you like than it was in 1989. The internet has also become the place where many people turn to watch videos - guaranteeing the viewer that they will get exactly the video they want, when they want it - assuming their browser can play the video format. (more on the internet and video watching another day)

The reason MTV became the force it did in the industry was that it allowed labels to reach viewers across the entire United States through a single outlet. This was much better for the labels than radio, where the record companies had to convince (via payola, hookers and cocaine) that individual radio stations should play the song the label wanted them to play. Reaching radio station managers in Phoenix, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Mobile was a lot of expense and effort, so the labels were overjoyed when MTV starrted to overtake radio as the place to get a new band seen and heard.

In 1995 if a label got their new artist onto MTV - they reached essentially every record buying teenager in America. Radio was often forced to follow MTV and play the songs that became hits through videos or risk alienating their audiences. Now, that the video market is divided up, the label has to work hard to get the video on a variety of networks (though Viacom is still a major player). Getting your hip-hop video on BET, may be good, but you are still only reaching a fraction of the audience that same video would have a decade ago.

This has led to the music video world being thrown into an uproar. Many production companies have gone under as budgets plummet and profit margins become razor thin. This is definitely a topic I will write about more, and you can trust that I will blame it all on MTV not playing music videos.


right on!
after being stuck in a hotel overseas, i was beginning to think that the channels were mislabeled.
it seems that MTV's entire schedule consists of vapid pseudo-reality shows that glorify bling, overconsumption, and celebrity worship.
and then, as if no one had ever taught them the meaning of 'irony', they have the gall to put on a self-serving earth day campaign spot campaign called 'break the addiction' that -- in between commercials for obesity cures and hamburgers and the idiotic reality shows.

oy, what a world we live in.
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I think you are wrong if you don't like mtv don't watch it stop complaning mmmmmkay.
MTV has become unbelievably stupid. What a shame - I used to adore those guys for their creative 'balls' and innovative vjaying.
I cant stand to watch MTV anymore! I don't care about there stupid reality shows, who likes who, who wants to kick whos ass. I have had enough of the 16 year old rich B*^&^$%*!S, and I dont care about what the rich kids in california are doing. I want to see real creativity. It is emportant to stand up for the real artist and people who really care and believe in what they are doing. I feel like MTV is just completely fake and made up now. I have not enjoyed watching it for probably over 10 years. TRL was the beginning of its fall I think. I want to see people with real talent! Thank god for the internet and I-tunes. To bad MTV isnt catching on to the new age of music. If they would only play some vidios from The Blow or The Firey Furnaces or some bands that really have talent! MTV is destined to fail if they don't catch on. Idiots.
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