MTV is a television music and song channel. The sister station is VH-1.
MTV (Music Television) is an American cable television network with its headquarters at 100 Broadway in New York City, New York. Launched on August 1, 1981, the original purpose of the channel was to only play music videos. Today, MTV limits video air time to a five-hour block called AMTV, which typically airs Tuesdays-Thursdays from 3AM-8AM. From then, the network broadcasts a variety of scripted, animated and reality series targeting the age 12-24 demographic.
Since its premiere, MTV has revolutionized the music industry. Slogans such as "I want my MTV" became embedded in public thought, the concept of the VJ (video jockey) 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. Through the years, shows like MTV News 1515, TRL, Sucker Free, 120 Minutes and Week in Rock have acted as hubs for all of these. Resultants of these hubs broke major acts like Britney Spears, Nirvana and Eminem just to name a few and made household names out of former on-air hosts such as Carson Daly, LaLa Anthony, Hilarie Burton, Matt Pinfield and Vanessa Lachey.
MTV's moral influence on young people, including examples of censorship and social activism on the channel, has been the subject of debate for years. MTV's choice to focus on non-music programming has also been contested relentlessly, demonstrating the channel's continued impact on popular culture. Much of MTV's music content is now distributed via the web and mobile to compete against younger contemporaries like VEVO and iTunes as its flagship TV channel now plays non-music series in its place.
The most successful MTV show to date is Jersey Shore, a reality series following the lives of partying Italian 20-somethings in multiple locations (New Jersey, Italy and Miami). Other well-known MTV series includes The Real World, which is typically credited as the birth of modern reality programming. The Real World, like Shore, features a group of 20-somethings who live together for several months while having their lives taped. More MTV hits include The Hills, Beavis and Butt-head, Punk'd, Cribs, Club MTV, Jackass, 120 Minutes, Unplugged, Remote Control and their annual awards shows The MTV Movie Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards.
MTV had branched out into gaming. Its MTV Games Studio produced the smash Rock Band, a game similar to competitor Guitar Hero. MTV Games formed when it bought a company called Harmonix for $175m in 2006, but closed after it announced its closing in February 2011. MTV also blogs about gaming and all things "geek" through MTV Geek, one of many new web-only brands MTV has spawned starting in the early 2010s.
Beyond Geek, MTV has introduced MTV Hive, which is described as a "pure music destination for passionate music fans, featuring original videos, interviews, mp3s, live events and more." It mainly highlights lesser-known hip-hop and indie acts in addition to being the online hub for new episodes of 120 Minutes and Live in NYC. Another hub called MTV Act highlights social awareness. Launched February 1, 2011, Act fuses pop culture and consciousness to create social cause campaigns that inspires its viewers to react and get involved.
MTV Iggy focuses on the world market. It describes itself as "simply the best place to discover your next favorite artist ... from African hip-hop to Chinese punk from Brazilian baile funk to Swedish folk rock ... [Iggy] scours the world in search of exciting young musicians creating the sounds of the future." Iggy has niche sub-brands called MTV K (Korean pop music or K-pop) and MTV Desi (targeting Desis viewers, which are people of South Asian origin, with music content ranging from electronic tabla music, English-Gujarati hip-hop and Bollywood videos).