Music helps define a generation — maybe more than, but certainly just as much as anything else. Since MTV first went on the air more than 30 years ago, the channel has been the voice for the young.
Which could be a problem because consumers keep getting older. “We have to let go of each generation as they graduate out of it,” says the president of MTV, Stephen Friedman. And “that means constant reinvention.”
MTV’s original audience is pushing 50 now and the channel has stopped programming for Gen X’ers. The audience MTV’s looking at now are current 18- to 24-year-olds. Friedman says, “We have the luxury of just thinking about this audience.”
For those that claim MTV doesn’t play enough music, Friedman says it’s because they’re programming for Millennials. “Our audience understands, if they want a music video that they really want, they’re going to go online immediately.” He remembers waiting for the premiere of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and says that’s not the way things are today. “The idea our audience is going to wait around for a video…just doesn’t exist.”
We wanted to hear about your favorite MTV memories throughout the network’s long history. Here’s what some of you said.
Tell us yours by tweeting us @MarketplaceAPM or commenting on our Facebook page.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.