VH1 was launched in 1994 as VH-1/an alternative to the youth-orientated MTV.
The channel targets an audience between 25 to 44 year olds, VH1 aims to be "mature, sophisticated and totally stylish for viewers who still feel young and want to keep in-touch with what is happening on the music scene today." The music they play consists of music from the 1970s right through to today.
Until 2008, much of their programming was taken from the American version. The channel now focuses entirely on music videos, with many Top 20 and Top 40 countdowns.
1st logo (October 10, 1994-1998).
2nd logo (1998-2003).
Between its UK launch and the late 1990s the channel played many 1980s videos including the present day at the time, while the logo was displayed in the top right hand corner with "MUSIC FIRST" displayed underneath it. The channel also at the time would dedicate particular days to an artist. Examples of these included "Jacksons Day", "Beautiful South Day" and "Elton John Day". A "Madonna Day" in 1998 featured a full-length concert, alongside her music videos on the then daytime Upbeat programme.
In July 1998, the channel ran a "Pop Up Video Marathon". Another feature which would run on the channel was Ten of the Best, in which an artist's video is played and then the act themselves are on camera selecting their ten best videos, in which they would say why they like it along with the song with a description of the video that the viewer would be shown. After the show ended on VH1, the same idea was then transferred to VH2, in which alternative artists like Feeder and Athlete would choose the videos. The videos shown were usually bands like The Pixies, Elbow and Biffy Clyro. Despite VH2 later ceasing to exist, VH1 have not re-considered the concept.
Two sister channels to VH1 have previously existed.
VH1 Classic (launched 1 July 1999; closed 1 March 2010) played all time greats from the 1960s to the 1990s. The channel was replaced by MTV Classic.
VH2 (launched 16 December 2003; closed 1 August 2006) showed mainly music videos and live concerts. It focused on rock, indie and punk music and branded itself as "the alternative to manufactured pop". The channel was replaced by MTV Flux, which itself was replaced by MTV +1.