Re: MTV and the music industry
I actually think that in the early days, MTV was very instrumental in opening up the country to a broader spectrum of music than we previously had exposure to. Before I had MTV, my music choices were limited to pretty much what was available on the radio. The radio, at least in Cleveland, was as it is today, dictated by the whims of the program directors, many of whom push a very limited variety of music they deem popular (or the record companies "pay" them to deem so). MTV, on the other hand, was like a breath of fresh air. You may call it filler, but early MTV would air just about anyone who put out a music video, which wasn't a common thing when it first came on the air. Therefore, they couldn't just stick with one "format" like the radio stations did. I could see Devo, followed by Van Halen, followed by Run-DMC, followed by Madonna. If I didn't like a song/video, I knew one I would like would be on shortly. I don't think I would have ever been exposed to a lot of New Wave, College Music, Rap, or even a lot of Heavy Metal if it had not been for MTV. It may seem like they played a lot of crap back in the '80s, but that's likely just because the music industry put out a lot of crap. I think you had a better chance of finding out about a new band that you would love on MTV than you would on the radio...well at least here in the midwest.
"I don't classify 'em, I just pacify 'em." - George Foster.