Powered by i.TV
April 23, 2014

Proof that The Real World caused the downfall of MTV

by Kristin Sample, posted Jun 27th 2008 6:07PM
MTV logoI'm one of the many people who laments the "channel drift" that has affected MTV. A network that started out as, well, "music television" has clearly become "anything but music television." There's even a graph now on GraphJam the depicts how The Real World caused the downfall of MTV. The graph shows how the airtime for music videos has decreased as The Real World grew in popularity. Perhaps it should also measure how the cast of The Real World became more attractive and subsequently less intelligent.

The graph posits that by 2010 music videos will be nonexistent on the channel. Also, interesting is the rise of what the graph calls simply "other crap" that coincides with the rise of shows like The Real World and Road Rules. I assume "other crap" refers to shows like The Hills, My Super Sweet Sixteen, and Made -- shows that have replaced music videos in primetime (and replaced music videos with their incessant reruns in daytime).

It seems to me that MTV just has a completely different audience now. I think it appeals to tweeny-boppers dreaming of their super sweet sixteens. After all, tech-savvy, cell-phone-toting 13-year-olds know just to watch the videos online. Why should they have to see it on TV?

I seldom watch the network anymore. And it seems like the rest of my friends (mostly Gen-Xers and older Gen-Yers) don't either. Is it just that we're becoming too stuffy, too purist, and *gasp* a little like our parents?

Something else that bothers me is that the network still insists on having the VMAs every year. What's the point of giving out awards if you never show the work in the first place? Furthermore, the quality of videos has gone down because they don't get airtime. Why spend the money? Remember when world-premiere of a Madonna video was a huge event? I can still tell you exactly what happens in the "Like a Prayer" video and I can still do the moves from "Vogue." But, her new video "Four Minutes" with Justin Timberlake? Haven't seen it. I know I could simply go online and watch it or buy it on iTunes if I felt so inclined. But that's not the point. There's just no more hype, glamour, and excitement surrounding music videos anymore.

MTV is trying to get back to their roots with FN-MTV. The show, hosted by Pete Wentz, has world premiere videos and then let's fans vote on what they see. They can even text in while the video is playing and say what they thought. How about this -- just show the video. It doesn't have to be a texting, emailing, myspacing flurry of multimedia confusion. Just show the video.

All that's left to say is, "I want my MTV" back. What do you think?

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

15 Comments

Filter by:
Thomas E. Daubert

I haven't watched MTV in nearly 20 years, but actually enjoyed other music cable stations like VH1. What's especially irritating is that it seems like ALL of the musical channels are following suit. VH1 seemed like a great alternative to MTV so far as music videos were concerned. Then VH1 jumped on the reality show bandwagon, falling into the same drudgery as MTV. THEN they come out with MTV2, which might have started out focusing more on music, but that channel also gave into the reality show crap. Then VH1 Classic seemed like a dream come true and I started watching that religiously. Although VH1 Classic is somewhat more focused on actual music, they still have their fair share of useless pop culture shows and pointless movies. I WANT MY (1980s) MTV!

June 02 2012 at 5:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Johnson Goh Han Swee

Hey, here's an answer to your pleas. We're a Singaporean startup based in Malaysia and our mission is to give MTV back to the world! This is the first version of our product. http://www.attictv.com. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts :D

February 17 2012 at 5:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joe

shut the hell up cuz the kids these days love the programming on mtv like jersy shore an the realest world we can relate 2 them unlike u old ppl tht don't have lives an r bout have yur 5th child an r turnin 50 so plz but if u wnna listen to music mtv hits, mtv jams and vh1 and more so plz stop mthe nagin u old ppl's

February 04 2010 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dawn

MTV died many years ago, I don't know why it's still named that because it is not MTV. I was there from the beginning and the only other show besides the original real world was remote control. MTV doesn't even have VJ anymore. I guess video didn't kill the radio star

June 30 2008 at 9:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Taylor

"I haven't watched MTV in about 10 years. Why do I want to watch TV shows about the trials and tribulations of teenagers? I may be old, but I still enjoy music. And I still enjoy watching music videos."

I don't think it's such a bad thing for a network to go outside of what it was known for in order to keep the channel fresh. If AMC had stayed an all-movie channel, we wouldn't have great shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

But, I think True Life and Made are important in showing positive images of teenagers and young adults (MTV's current target demographic), because music videos these days can often show degrading and negative images.

June 28 2008 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

I haven't watched MTV in about 10 years. Why do I want to watch TV shows about the trials and tribulations of teenagers? I may be old, but I still enjoy music. And I still enjoy watching music videos. MTV limits itself by catering to teeny boppers. In my opinion MTV needs to change their name. It false advertising. There is no music in Music Television. Showing videos from 2am to 3am doesn't count. TRL shows what, 30 secs of the top 10 videos. The rest is fluf.
I also blame MTV for creating the reality show genre which has plagued our airways with cheap, crappy programing that has led to the cancelation of quality shows, and replaced them with shows like Beauty and the Geek, The Bachelor, Survior, or that show where the guy was a millionaire, but then turned out not to be. Pure shit!
Making a music video, to me, seems like a total waste of money. It is no longer a good marketing tool.
As for the VMA's. Total crap. That's like giving a Best Motion Picture Oscar to a movie that was never shown in theaters.

June 28 2008 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gaur

Um, guys, MtV has several channels, including "MTV Hits" which is all videos

http://groups.msn.com/EarthComesAlive/

June 28 2008 at 8:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alex

I think True Life is probably the only good show on MTV.

June 27 2008 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Taylor

"I assume "other crap" refers to shows like The Hills, My Super Sweet Sixteen, and Made."

I know everyone and their mother wants MTV to play more videos, but I don't agree that Made (or True Life, for that matter) should be equated with the junk.

Both shows provide insight into the life of teenagers and young adults and they do educate which I think is impotant in today's society. Are they on the wrong channel? Perhaps. But, I would be perfectly content with MTV airing these two shows along with music videos.

June 27 2008 at 9:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Taylor's comment
justelise

I'd have to agree. Made and True Life actually have some substance, especially True Life. Made really caters to a younger crowd, but I've watched good episodes of True Life as recently as two weeks ago that actually addressed real life problems in a way people of all ages can understand. They've covered everything from military families to the porn industry.

Stuff like My Super Sweet Sixteen, The Hills, and Tila Tequila are nauseating, but people are addicted to them, just like people are addicted to VH1s Celebreality.

I would love MTV to play some videos, or at least more music oriented programming (Rockumentaries were great), and I would love VH1 to do the same, but those days are gone, and they're no longer profitable. I haven't seen the full length of a video of any song from any album I've purchased in at least three years. I don't know that I've missed anything.

June 27 2008 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Val

Should I be embarrassed if I still watch Real World?

June 27 2008 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Val's comment
justelise

Since it's no longer 1996, I would have to say yes.

June 27 2008 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners