From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
MTV (Music Television) is an American cable television network based in New York City. Launched on August 1, 1981, the original purpose of the channel was to show music videos. Today, MTV broadcasts a variety of music, pop culture, youth culture, and reality television shows aimed at adolescents and young adults.
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. MTV has also been referenced countless times by musicians, other TV channels and shows, films and books.
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.