MTV is the third major breakthrough in music broadcasting, and the first since the late 1960s. "Top Forty" radio was initiated in the 1950s, and along with "free form" or "progressive" rock molded rock music exposure for nearly twenty years. Many observers credit MTV with resurrecting the music industry from the throes of the Great Depression of 1979. Few would dispute its impact on contemporary film, fashion, and radio.
Inside MTV examines the world of cablecasting, the evolution of WASEC, MTV, VH-1, and some of their competitors. The strategies, personalities, promotions, and the contents that placed MTV on the road to its dominant position are described. The many controversies surrounding the channel are thoroughly detailed, and a good deal of the misinformation on the subject is corrected.
It is a mere five years since MTV began as the third of four Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment Company (WASEC) channels, created by two of America's largest conglomerates. Since then, it has become a major force. Before MTV was conceived the relationship between television and rock music was weak, at best. As the new partnership .developed, a story of genius, luck, and discrimination began to unfold, and a corporate innovation of major proportions and psychodemographic success emerged.
MTV is now the most profitable 24-hour cable outlet beamed from a satellite. It reaches 30.8 million households. How all this happened is chronicled in this major new book from a leading authority on the American music business.