Why Fewer People Want Their MTV

MTV, once the network of choice for young people, is in a rut. Ratings have slipped, advertising revenues are down, and viewership for last summer's Video Music Awards dropped 18 percent.The channel's parent company, Viacom, just laid off several top executives -- including producer and 28-year veteran Dave Sirulnick, who was one of MTV's last ties to its golden age.

There are several factors that have contributed to a decline in viewership for MTV (Music Television) over the years:

Shift in Content Focus

MTV originally gained popularity as a music video channel, but it gradually shifted away from music programming to focus on reality shows, scripted series, and other non-music content. This shift in programming led to a disconnect with its core audience of music enthusiasts.


MTV faces stiff competition from a wide range of entertainment options in the digital age. Streaming services, social media, YouTube, and other online platforms have given viewers more choices for accessing music videos and entertainment content.

Changing Viewer Habits

Viewers today consume content differently than in the past. Many viewers prefer on-demand streaming services where they can access content at their convenience rather than tuning in to traditional TV channels.

Aging Audience

MTV's core audience has grown older since its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s. As a result, the network may not resonate with younger generations in the same way it did with older millennials and Generation X.

Evolving Music Industry

The music industry itself has changed, with artists and labels increasingly using platforms like YouTube and social media to release music videos and connect with fans directly. This has reduced the reliance on traditional music channels like MTV.

Proliferation of Music Streaming

The rise of music streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music has made it easier for people to access and discover music without the need for music television channels.

Content Shift

MTV's decision to shift its programming away from music content in favor of reality shows and scripted series may have alienated its original music-loving audience.

Cultural Changes

The cultural relevance of MTV has shifted over the years, and it may not be seen as a trendsetter or influencer to the same extent as in the past.

Challenges of Linear Television

Linear TV channels, in general, have faced viewership challenges as audiences gravitate toward digital and streaming options.

MTV continues to evolve and adapt to these challenges. It periodically airs music-related programming and events like the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) to maintain a connection to its musical roots while also producing a variety of original content.

Ultimately, the decline in MTV's viewership is a reflection of broader shifts in the media and entertainment landscape, changing viewer habits, and the network's own programming decisions.


Video: "Why Fewer People Want Their MTV"