(originally an initialism of Music Television
) is an American pay television channel
owned by Viacom Media Networks
(a division of Viacom
) and headquartered in New York City
. Launched on August 1, 1981, the channel originally aired music videos
as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys
" (VJs). At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today, it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students.
Since its inception, MTV has toned down its music video programming significantly, and its programming now consists mainly of original reality
, comedy and drama programming and some off-network syndicated programs and films, with limited music video programming in off-peak time periods. MTV had struggled with the secular decline of music-related subscription-based media. Its ratings had been said to be failing systematically, as younger viewers increasingly shift towards other media platforms, with yearly ratings drops as high as 29%; thus there was doubt of the lasting relevance of MTV towards young audiences. In April 2016, then-appointed MTV president Sean Atkins announced plans to restore music programming to the channel. Under current MTV president Chris McCarthy, reality programming has once again become prominent. Read more...