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It is worth noting that MTV is a channel that was created in order to broadcast music videos. In the early years, its target viewers were teenagers and young people interested in music; however, gradually, the channel won a wider audience (Kooijman 96). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the original models that could have been employed by the track and artists who benefited from the music video genre.
Notably, the idea behind creating MTV was linked to the need to introduce a music specialty channel. Therefore, the creators wanted to develop a music channel concept that would be implemented for cable television. Initially, there were two approaches that were elaborated by the producers in the planning stages. The first one was connected to the idea of showing promotional videos that would be created by record labels (Covach 406).
The second model implied that the channel would study and demonstrate to the audience the creative aspects of this environment. Michael Nesmith was the person who advocated for the latter idea. It should be noted that the first model won out but, gradually, the two concepts were merged in music videos, and they turned into a product that combined the elements of promotional videos and other aspects of the medium.
Michael Jackson was an artist who benefited greatly from the national exposure and also contributed to the music video genre development to a great degree. Initially, the channel was reluctant to play the artist’s video “Billie Jean”, but when they finally decided to air it, it was a tremendous success (Covach 407). Importantly, this cooperation also made the network more popular, and the channel became a platform for breaking hit records.
Michael Jackson’s videos and music, in general, promoted tracks driven by a strong beat accompanied by groove built on bass and drums and that had roots in black pop and disco (Jefferson 17). However, Michael Jackson not only contributed to the development of the genre but also became the biggest star in popular music. He sold millions of records of such works as “Beat It,” “Thriller,” and many other songs and won multiple awards.
Madonna is another artist who benefited greatly from the music video genre since many of her works depended on the visual aspect as much as on the sound. Her songs such as “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl” became chart hits. Notably, Madonna was not only a star but also a significant influencer in the industry. Her music and videos raised such vital issues as sexual conduct, roles of women, spirituality, and many other essential topics, which had a tremendous impact on society and other artists (Shaffer 46).
Prince was also a 1980’s artist who became a star along with Michael Jackson and Madonna. His music was inspired by black pop and funk, and video exposure allowed him to advance the rhythm and blues market (Jeffries and Cochran 294). His song “Let’s Go Crazy”, as well as many other works, was immensely successful. This artist often played many instruments and combined pop sensibility with funk grooves.
Thus, it can be concluded that MTV is a channel that has provided a platform for the development of many artists and advanced the music industry to a significant degree. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and many other singers benefited greatly from national exposure. However, the channel not only promoted artists but also allowed them to bring some controversial issues to the forefront and develop the market in new sonic dimensions.
Covach, John Rudolph. What’s That Sound? An Introduction to Rock and Its History. W.W. Norton & Company, 2006.
Jefferson, Margo. On Michael Jackson. Granta Books, 2018.
Jeffries, Judson L., and Shannon M. Cochran. “Studying Prince: An Introduction.” Journal of African American Studies, vol. 21, no. 3, 2017, pp. 293-295.
Kooijman, Jaap. “I Want My MTV; We Want Our TMF: The Music Factory, MTV Europe, and Music Television in the Netherlands, 1995-2011.” VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture, vol. 6, no. 11, 2017, pp. 93-101.
Shaffer, Claire. Emotion Pictures: The Art and Evolution of Music Videos. 2018. Wesleyan University, thesis.