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Dear MTV, Who Turned Off The Music?

Posted on January 7, 2013 in Media

By Joanna Shruti Sundharam:

When popular music channels like MTV and Channel V transform into GECs-General Entertainment Channels, it forces one to think, what actually happened? Channels dedicated to music- music videos in particular, have been around for a very long time. We do still have the likes of 9XM and VH1, but one often wonders what made stalwarts like MTV and Channel V, leave the game. Although the change was not sudden, it was indeed dramatic.


One of the reasons for this is the change in which music is consumed amongst the youth. Earlier people had time to sit down and watch TV to listen to new songs; but nowadays people prefer listening to music on-the-go. Radio stations have cashed in on this opportunity and hence the large number of radio stations dedicated to music. All mobile phones have a built in FM radio, cars also have FM players and they are convenient to listen to while driving or working out. The FM has advantages that Music TV channels can never offer: for instance mobility, accessibility at all times and at all places and the likes.

Another reason for the decline of pure music channels is the internet. Nowadays, we can easily find music videos on websites like YouTube, stream them in a few seconds and watch them again and again. This is impossible when it comes to music videos on TV channels. With the advent of broadband and high speed internet, this generation doesn’t have to wait for anything. The internet offers a much more convenient and customized version of what TV channels offer.

Another aspect is a new genre of programmes meant for the young audience. Earlier entertainment for youth meant only music but nowadays it means a lot more. The sudden rise in the number of serials and programmes meant specifically for the young audience is an evidence for this. These programmes have a young cast, deal with issues that the youth can relate to, and have a format that is fast-paced, compelling, thought provoking and entertaining at the same time. The storyline and content is entirely youth-oriented and hence they have a huge audience which was earlier untapped. Music channels which were synonymous with youth channels had to modify their content to accommodate this new genre of TV programmes.

The FM, the internet, new programmes, our fast-paced life- everything has had a part to play. The situation has its comic ironies like MTV which stands for Music Television has nothing to do with music anymore. There are channels that still have purely music content, but they aren’t as good as MTV or Channel V. In the end, it is probably our preferences and our evolution that turned off the music.

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