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Does MTV Still Have the Same Impact As It Did Back in the Video Era?

Ken Ishii, Getty Images

Many of you reading this may not remember MTV as primarily a video channel on TV. Back in their early days, they were a lot like a radio station on TV. On this day (Aug. 1)  back in 1981 MTV signed on at 12:01 am with “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. The song was used probably in an attempt to make a statement. To say here we are, watch out! That was 32 years ago.

Where I grew up in Canada I didn’t have access to MTV we had a similar music channel, MuchMusic so I know the impact of a video channel but really can’t speak personally about watching “Headbanger’s Ball” or VJs like Martha Quinn and Nina Blackwood, but I remember the 90s era well, with Rude Awakenings, 120 Minutes, Yo MTV Raps, etc. My post is less about why MTV doesn’t play videos anymore but more about its place in our lives. The argument about MTV having no videos is tired. I want to know if MTV still has the same impact it did when we were young?

If you’re younger, maybe in your late teens or early 20s now, did you watch Real World or Parental Control? Was or is Teen Mom appointment television? Do you DVR any of the Rob Dydek shows? From all I’ve seen it seems as though MTV has become a run of the mill cable channel. Maybe I’m just older now and don’t “get it” but I don’t see anything exciting about them anymore.

It’s evolution of pop culture I guess, MTV was “it” and now they’re not so much. I do love MTV in late August or early September because of the MTV Video Music Awards but that’s all I go to them for anymore.

As it turns out MTV did not kill the radio star after all, as the radio stars have long lived on and surpassed MTV in the way they were.

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