MTV (until 2010, an acronym for Music Television) is an American network based in New York City that launched on August 1, 1981. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs.
At one time, MTV had a profound impact on the music industry and popular culture. Slogans such as “I want my MTV” and “MTV is here” became embedded in public thought, the concept of the VJ was popularized, the idea of a dedicated video-based outlet for music was introduced, and both artists and fans found a central location for music events, news, and promotion. MTV has also been referenced countless times in popular culture by musicians, other TV channels and shows, films, and books.
MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the U.S. and affiliated channels internationally, some of which, like the former MTV Tempo now known as TEMPO Networks, have gone independent. MTV’s moral influence on young people, including issues related to censorship and social activism, has been a subject of debate for years. MTV’s choice to focus on non-music programming has also been contested relentlessly since the 1990s, demonstrating the channel’s previous impact on popular culture.
MTV Logo & Branding
MTV Opening Sequence
MTV played this sequence at the top of every hour back in the 1980’s.