When MTV started playing music videos in 1981, it got millions of people to watch many music genres at once.
You could see a classic song play at one moment, followed by Hip-hop the next, and then R&B.
Everything seemed to go to plan, and the programming was so intense that many radio stations could not match up.
Then, a new generation came up, and suddenly, everybody had different tastes in music. MTV had to reorganize itself, but that started as early as 1986.
MTV stopped playing music videos 24/7 after it started creating new content for its users. The network began working on lifestyle shows to target the young generation.
Then, in 1992, a reality television show titled The Real World premiered on MTV. It had the best reception and high ratings on TV and revolutionized reality television shows.
Furthermore, the TV series was the turning point for MTV because it allowed the channel to bring more reality television shows like MTV’s Loveline at the expense of music videos.
When did they stop playing music videos on MTV?
The precise date when MTV stopped playing music videos is still unknown. Although MTV started in 1981, the network reduced the number of music videos around 1986.
Then, when cable TV sprung up in the 1990s, MTV faced competition, forcing it to adjust its content. It created many reality television shows meaning that music videos could not play on the channel 24/7.
When YouTube became a top streaming platform by 2005, MTV failed to capture the spirit of the time it enjoyed in the 80s. As a result, people started watching videos on YouTube.
It no longer made sense for a person to wait for their favorite music videos to play on MTV when they could search for them on YouTube and find it within seconds.
The impact was that MTV never made any money on music videos. Besides, music licensing fees kept rising. And since the channel was in business, reducing music videos for reality television shows was the best strategy.
Does MTV even play music videos anymore?
MTV scaled down music videos on its channel. By 2010, MTV played 36.5% fewer music videos. Then, it expanded its programming outside of music videos, with programming lightly or heavily related to music.
Finally, MTV dropped its Music Television branding but continued airing video premieres occasionally.
However, the channel showcases musical artists playing acoustic instruments through MTV Unplugged.
What was the last music video played on MTV?
It is challenging to determine the last music video played on MTV since the channel still plays some music videos occasionally and even hosts Video Music Awards.
Did MTV fail?
As a channel, MTV did not fail. Instead, it made a business decision to reorganize its content.
However, its music department failed because it could no longer compete with streaming platforms.
Now that you know why MTV did stop playing music videos, you can activate MTV to stream its new range of content which consists of reality shows, music-inspired programs, and some occasional music videos.