Cover image for Inside MTV
Inside MTV
Denisoff, R. Serge.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Brunswick, NJ : Transaction Books, 2002.

Physical Description:
373 pages : portraits ; 24 cm
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1992.8.M87 D4 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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MTV is the third major breakthrough in music broadcasting, and the first since the late 1960s. "Top Forty" radio was initiated in the 1950s, and along with "free form" or "progressive" rock molded rock music exposure for nearly twenty years. Many observers credit MTV with resurrecting the music industry from the throes of the Great Depression of 1979. Few would dispute its impact on contemporary film, fashion, and radio.Inside MTV examines the world of cablecasting, the evolution of WASEC, MTV, VH-1, and some of their competitors. The strategies, personalities, promotions, and the contents that placed MTV on the road to its dominant position are described. The many controversies surrounding the channel are thoroughly detailed, and a good deal of the misinformation on the subject is corrected.It is a mere five years since MTV began as the third of four Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment Company (WASEC) channels, created by two of America's largest conglomerates. Since then, it has become a major force. Before MTV was conceived the relationship between television and rock music was weak, at best. As the new partnership .developed, a story of genius, luck, and discrimination began to unfold, and a corporate innovation of major proportions and psychodemographic success emerged.MTV is now the most profitable 24-hour cable outlet beamed from a satellite. It reaches 30.8 million households. How all this happened is chronicled in this major new book from a leading authority on the American music business.

Author Notes

R. Serge Denisoff (1939-1994) taught at many universities in his career, including San Francisco State College, Simon Fraser University, Los Angeles State University, and Bowling Green State University. He founded and was editor of the Journal of Popular Music and Society. In addition he is the author of many books, including Inside MTV, Sing a Song of Social Significance, and Solid Gold: The Popular Record Industry.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This book is an insight into the evolution of the cablevision phenomena--MTV, VH-1, and their competitors. Denisoff (Bowling Green State University) presents his study from the perspectives of media economics, boardroom politics, and the recording industry's dilemma: how to promote recorded products with video clips. Unlike other studies of MTV, such as E. Ann Kaplan's Rocking Around the Clock (CH, Dec '87), this text focuses upon the processes involved in the development and growth of the product, MTV (and the medium, cablevision), rather than arguing the aesthetics or sociological impact. The value of this book lies in its wealth of information concerning the fields of cablevision broadcasting and the recording industry. Cablevision/broadcasting and music industry trade publications are the primary information sources used, all of them listed in the very complete footnotes and bibliography. This book is highly recommended for libraries serving undergraduate programs in broadcast communications and music industry management. D. Hibbard McLennan Community College