For those too young to remember -- I'll say those 20 and under -- MTV was started as a music channel. You know, Music television. These days it's basically an amalgamation of reality programming, movie specials and the very rare video. For some unknown reason, musicians still spend big bucks on videos. Whatever the case, I was surfing YouTube last night and I came across videos that were clearly made digital from a VHS recording. To me, that's authentic. Anyway, some of these clips included the MTV logo and the giant "Exclusive" declaration across the front.
Back in, say, 1989, there really wasn't many other options for music videos. I think they played occasionally on fancy cable channels like HBO but MTV was basically the biggest - and only - game in town.
In journalism, an "exclusive" is equal to a "scoop," or the big "get." You're the one game in town baby, and everyone stops to take notice. Doesn't this mean MTV's "exclusive" is both pointless and misleading? Does the exclusive refer to a specific show...like Headbanger's Ball? Surely not since all those videos basically made it into the regular rotation in the 80s.
While we're talking about MTV, who thinks the channel created glam? I think the true roots of glam go so much deeper than MTV, but lately it seems like I've been reading a lot of articles that basically credit the network with creating my most favorite music genre.
If that's what you're selling, then I ain't buying! To make such a sweeping statement is degrading to musicians who could (can!) really play their instruments and write their own songs. While MTV served as a vehicle of promotion, it was also a matter of convenience. If MTV existed in 1978, Van Halen probably wouldn't have had to wait until the success of 1984 to have a number one single.
Saying MTV offered "exclusives" or "created stars" is like saying Fox News creates terrorism. Oh, wait...
At any rate, here's Poison's video for "Ride the Wind." It has the "exclusive" banner across the credit.