While the music industry is blaming the decline of music sales on people who download free music, the real blame should be placed on MTV and BET. Yes! MTV and BET have ruined the music business. These two “music” television networks were created as a way for consumers to enhance their music experience. Unlike the networks of 10 years ago, now if you turn the channel to MTV or BET, I guarantee you won’t see any music videos. As a matter of fact, you probably won’t see anything related to music either. Today, reality television, sitcoms, movies, and dramas rule these networks. The days of “Total Request Live” (MTV), “Yo! MTV Raps,” “Club MTV,” “106 & Park” (BET), “Rap City” (BET), and “Video Soul” (BET), are long gone.
While these networks blame low ratings for the reason why they cut these programs, I don’t believe this to be true. Let’s be real, MTV and BET, you cut these programs because the executives realized they could make more money by creating programs like “The Real World,” “Jersey Shore,” “College Hill,” and “Laguna Beach.” Instead of standing true to what made you popular, you abandoned music for the film industry. The music industry was struggling, and you left it at its lowest point. You kicked the business when it was down instead of fighting along with us music lovers. A few years ago, MTV admitted its long-running series, “The Real World,” was struggling ratings-wise for the past few years, yet the network continued to film the series. Unfortunately, the music programs didn’t get the same kind of support.
MTV was founded in 1981, and artists, producers, and music lovers fought hard to keep the network alive! Iconic legends like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Prince, Def Leppard, and Guns N’ Roses built MTV. Music fanatics like myself used to run home from school, just so we could witness a Michael Jackson music video. MTV is the reason I listen to all genres of music including Rock, Hip-Hop, Pop, and R&B. BET was so instrumental in making sure R&B artists were recognized and respected. If it wasn’t for BET, legendary musicians like Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, and New Edition may have gone unnoticed by the world. MTV and BET were important factors in the music business; I just wish the networks understood how essential they are in this battle to get music back to its dominance. Music deserves to be played and viewed on the major MTV and BET channels, not the affiliate MTV and BET channels that most people don’t even have access to. Television is a vital platform, and artists need that platform in order to help promote their brand.