Wednesday, April 16, 2003
The rise and fall of the music video.
The irony is that in the late '80s and early '90s, as videos became more formally sophisticated and better produced, they were played less and less on MTV. The channel joined the A.C. Nielsen ratings system in the early '80s, which measures viewership in 15-minute increments. People watched one or two videos in a row, but rarely three or four. So MTV began packaging its videos in clearly delineated formats - "120 Minutes" for alternative fare and "Yo! MTV Raps" for hip-hop - and producing more original shows like "Remote Control" and "The Real World." For a time in the early '90s, it seemed as if the channel's entire prime-time schedule had been ceded to "Beavis and Butt-head."