What does it take to spot a pop genius? To break a global act, to book a million-selling tour or reunite music legends to great acclaim - and huge profits? In this series, three music industry insiders reveal how the business really works.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Hits, Hype & Hustle: An Insider's Guide to the Music Business - MTV - Netflix
MTV (originally an initialism of Music Television) is an American cable and satellite television channel owned by Viacom Media Networks (a division of Viacom) and headquartered in New York City. Launched on August 1, 1981, the channel originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as “video jockeys” (VJs). At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students. MTV has toned down its music video programming significantly in recent years, and its programming now consists mainly of original reality, comedy and drama programming and some off-network syndicated programs and films, with limited music video programming in off-peak time periods. It has also become involved in promoting left-wing political issues and progressive social causes. The network received criticism towards this change of focus, both by certain segments of its audience and musicians. MTV's influence on its audience, including issues involving censorship and social activism, has also been a subject of debate for several years. In recent years, MTV had struggled with the secular decline of music-related cable media. Its ratings had been said to be failing systematically, as younger viewers increasingly shift towards other media platforms, with yearly ratings drops as high as 29%; thus there was doubt of the lasting relevance of MTV towards young audiences. In April 2016, newly appointed MTV president Sean Atkins announced plans to restore music programming to the channel, including the return of MTV Unplugged. After nine years off air, TRL, MTV's flagship series, returned on October 2, 2017. MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the US and affiliated channels internationally, some of which have gone independent, with approximately 90.6 million American households in the United States receiving MTV as of January 2016.
Hits, Hype & Hustle: An Insider's Guide to the Music Business - Logo and branding - Netflix
MTV's now-iconic logo was designed in 1981 by Manhattan Design (a collective formed by Frank Olinsky, Pat Gorman and Patty Rogoff) under the guidance of original creative director Fred Seibert. The block letter “M” was sketched by Rogoff, with the scribbled word “TV” spraypainted by Olinksky. The primary variant of MTV's logo at the time had the “M” in yellow and the “TV” in red. But unlike most television networks' logos at the time, the logo was constantly branded with different colors, patterns and images on a variety of station IDs. The only constant aspects of MTV's logo at the time were its general shape and proportions, with everything else being dynamic. MTV launched on August 1, 1981, with an extended network ID featuring the first landing on the moon (with still images acquired directly from NASA), which was a concept of Seibert's executed by Buzz Potamkin and Perpetual Motion Pictures. The ID then cut to the American flag planted on the moon's surface changed to show the MTV logo on it, which rapidly changed into different colors and patterns several times per second as the network's original guitar-driven jingle was played for the first time. After MTV's launch, the “moon landing” ID was edited to show only its ending, and was shown at the top of every hour until early 1986, when the ID was scrapped in light of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. The ID ran “more than 75,000 times each year (48 times each day), at the top and bottom of every hour every day” according to Seibert.
From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, MTV updated its on-air appearance at the beginning of every year and each summer, creating a consistent brand across all of its music-related shows. This style of channel-wide branding came to an end as MTV drastically reduced its number of music-related shows in the early to mid 2000s. Around this time, MTV introduced a static and single color digital on-screen graphic to be shown during all of its programming. Starting with the premiere of the short-lived program FNMTV in 2008, MTV started using a revised and chopped down version of its original logo during most of its on-air programming. It became MTV's official logo on February 8, 2010 and officially debuted on its website. The channel's full name “Music Television” was officially dropped, with the revised logo largely the same as the original logo, but without the initialism, the bottom of the “M” being cropped and the “V” in “TV” being branched off. This change was most likely made to reflect MTV's more prominent focus on reality and comedy programming and less on music-related programming. However, much like the original logo, the new logo was designed to be filled in with a seemingly unlimited variety of images. It is used worldwide, but not everywhere existentially. The new logo was first used on MTV Films logo with the 2010 film Jackass 3D. MTV's rebranding was overseen by Popkern. On June 25, 2015, MTV International rebranded its on-air look with a new vaporwave and seapunk-inspired graphics package. It included a series of new station IDs featuring 3D renderings of objects and people, much akin to vaporwave and seapunk “aesthetics”. Many have derided MTV's choice of rebranding, insisting that the artistic style was centered on denouncing corporate capitalism (many aesthetic pieces heavily incorporate corporate logos of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, which coincidentally include MTV's original logo) rather than being embraced by major corporations like MTV. Many have also suggested that MTV made an attempt to be relevant in the modern entertainment world with the rebrand. In addition to this, the rebrand was made on exactly the same day that the social media site Tumblr introduced Tumblr TV, an animated GIF viewer which featured branding inspired by MTV's original 1980s on-air look. Tumblr has been cited as a prominent location of aesthetic art, and thus many have suggested MTV and Tumblr “switched identities”. The rebrand also incorporated a modified version of MTV's classic “I Want My MTV!” slogan, changed to read “I Am My MTV”. Vice has suggested that the slogan change represents “the current generation's movement towards self-examination, identity politics and apparent narcissism.” MTV also introduced MTV Bump, a website that allows Instagram and Vine users to submit videos to be aired during commercial breaks, as well as MTV Canvas, an online program where users submit custom IDs to also be aired during commercial breaks.
Hits, Hype & Hustle: An Insider's Guide to the Music Business - References - Netflix