What was the exact "point of no return" moment for MTV?

  • We have upgraded to Xenforo 2. We've decided to open the forums back up while we configure the theme and plugins. Thanks for your patience.

Latest News

TMC1982

Active Member
Jun 16, 2008
3,577
Ratings
39
38
A, A
#1
I bring this up in honor of the 37 anniversary of MTV's birth (August 1, 1981). Please bare in mind, that I'm not necessarily referring to when you believe that MTV initially "jumped the shark" (i.e. "when they stopped playing music videos"). I'm referring to the moment that it became quite clear and apparent that was never ever going to be improve (of course this sort of opinion is kind of subjective) or be like it was quality-wise like its supposed '80s-'90s heyday. One suggestion that I read is that the reality show Laguna Beach signified the moment that MTV would never get out of its "network decay". It was shows like Laguna Beach that served as a symbol of the vapidness of youth culture in the 2000s.

Personally, I think what really "symbolically" killed MTV was the emergence of social media. To put things into perspective, a show like TRL was as huge as it was back in the late '90s-early 2000s because it was really the only true central hub of pop music and really pop culture. Now, celebrities have more readily available outlets to promote themselves through YouTube (which seriously hurt MTV's bottom-line form a video standpoint only because you no longer had to wade around hours at at time to catch your favorite video), Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Another confirmation of MTV never getting back to where it needs or should be was back in 2011, when it brazenly refused to acknowledge its 30th anniversary since it wanted to be eternally seen as solely a channel for "young people" (instead of their parents).
 

Daikun

Long Live the Fighter!
Moderator
Mar 11, 2005
9,733
Ratings
1,468 8
83
33
California, USA
adultswim.toonzone.net
#2
MTV has had vapid reality TV shows long before Laguna Beach. The network had been on a downward spiral long before social media even existed.

MTV was cursed from day one for being too niche. No way could a 24-hour network be sustainable with 3-5 minute-long music videos alone. Changes eventually had to happen, so they started producing reality shows like The Real World, animated series, and basically anything that had nothing to do with music. These shows overtook the schedule like a tumor; the network became less about the music and more about...whatever else they felt like picking up. It lost its uniqueness and became just like any other network.
 

TMC1982

Active Member
Jun 16, 2008
3,577
Ratings
39
38
A, A
#4
MTV has had vapid reality TV shows long before Laguna Beach. The network had been on a downward spiral long before social media even existed.

MTV was cursed from day one for being too niche. No way could a 24-hour network be sustainable with 3-5 minute-long music videos alone. Changes eventually had to happen, so they started producing reality shows like The Real World, animated series, and basically anything that had nothing to do with music. These shows overtook the schedule like a tumor; the network became less about the music and more about...whatever else they felt like picking up. It lost its uniqueness and became just like any other network.
It wasn't so much that MTV was cursed for being too niched. Even when they added non-music video shows like Liquid Television, Beavis & Butt-head, Remote Control, The State, etc. they were still considered edgy, quirky, intelligent, and cutting-edge enough. MTV along the way, stopped being innovative, experimental, and thinking outside of the box in favor of cheaply produced (but "cost-effective"), exploitative reality shows. Basically, MTV now make their bread and butter by pandering to the lowest common denominator.

People forget that The Real World was actually when it first started, more of a "social experiment". What I mean is that the first few seasons actually dealt with serious issues affecting young adults Eventually, that show devolved when people started to realize that (or "figure out the game") the more loud and obnoxious (be it drunk, sexist, racist, homophobic, take part in orgies, etc.) that they could be for the cameras, the more attention that they'll get.
 

Looney Turtles

Active Member
May 11, 2014
579
Ratings
202 1
28
s15.zetaboards.com
#5
I get that MTV couldn't stay showing only music videos forever, but it should have at least stayed being themed around music, be it music videos, music documentaries or just other shows with music in mind. Now its all about those stupid reality shows.

Somewhere in the early 2000's for me was the point of no return. That was when they really started cutting down on the music programming.
 

TMC1982

Active Member
Jun 16, 2008
3,577
Ratings
39
38
A, A
#10
MTV began to lose its brand cachet (something that lived in culture outside of even their programming) when it became more and more characterless, ambiguous, homogenized, and nondescript. In a nutshell, MTV no longer has anything at its core/center to make it truly unique among the pack. If you ever look on YouTube to see what MTV was like in the '90s for instance, you'll immediately notice that it's radically different then the way that it is today. Besides having actual music videos, MTV had edgy cartoons, game shows, fashion shows, actual music documentaries and interviews, and Loveline. MTV seemed to start to lose its way when it started becoming a channel that pretty much wanted everything to everyone and trying to lure in a pre-teen audience. Before, MTV was virtually providing something kids' parents would turn off so they had to wait to get older for it. In effect, it was the channel for your college-aged brother, not your little sister in junior high school.