How MTV Got Started and How it Has Influenced Television Today

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For many young adults, they can never imagine life without computers, music video production and reality television. Many of these things got it’s start in the 1970’s or even later. This article will discuss the history of MTV, or the music television channel that has become a staple of cable television for many households with teens or young adults. Today’s youth are much more tuned into various types of media outlets using their computers or phones to see videos on Facebook, vimby preditor, Twitter and YouTube. It all started in 1977 with a small cable TV network that had a show called Sight On Sound in Columbus Ohio.

This show was a new concept as a music channel that featured concerts as well as music oriented TV programs. It was the first two way cable TV program where viewers could call in and vote for their favorite song or artist that was being shown on the program. This cable network also had other programs like a children’s show but the one that really became popular was the music channel. Viewers had never been able to see a concert or see a band interviewed on TV before unless they went to a concert themselves so it was a great new concept. With this increasing popularity, the network changed their format in 1981 to be called MTV-music television.

The original idea of MTV was to model it after the top 40 radio shows, putting on the best pop rock bands at the time. Instead of having a disc jockey like they did on the radio, they hired several young hip hosts to introduce the videos and called them VJ’s as in video jockeys. Some of these original VJ’s on MTV ended up being celebrities in their own right from the enormous amount of exposure that they got from being on MTV at the start.

Because music videos started out as just someone recording the band playing music, many film directors got involved and started creating a much more elaborate concept for the videos. They took a song and made almost a small movie type of clip that told the story of the song. This is how many of these film directors that went on to be quite famous got their first start, making music videos. With the increasing popularity of this channel and the new wave of music videos playing in the early 1980’s, the network created the MTV Music Video Awards in 1984. This was a way for the music industry to showcase some bands in a more hip and alternative way than the Grammy’s offered.

MTV soon started adding other types of shows on the channel like animated cartoons for the adolescent and young adult crowd, and they were the first ones to have a reality show creating the concept of the Real World where they had several young adults live together and have their lives filmed while adjusting to each other and a new city. MTV pioneered many of the popular shows that young adults continue to watch today.

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