In August 1981, Music Television — now popularly known as MTV — was launched. Within a matter of years it revitalized a struggling record industry; made the careers of leading pop stars like Madonna, Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, and Duran Duran; infiltrated traditional network television and the movie industry; revolutionized the advertising industry; and stimulated purchases in several markets, most notably fashion apparel.
The reach of MTV has proven long and profitable. In this book, Jack Banks examines the historical development of music video as a commodity and analyzes the existing structures within which music video is produced, distributed, and exhibited on its premier music channel, MTV. Who controls MTV? What part do record companies play in the financing and production of music video? How do the power brokers in the business affect the ideological content of music video?
Given the tight sphere of influence within the music industry, what are the future trends for music video and for artistic freedom of expression? Banks tackles these questions in an intelligent, lively, and sophisticated investigation into one of the most influential media enterprises of our society.