What Was the First-Ever MTV Music Video?

The first-ever MTV music video was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. Video originally aired on MTV on August 1st, 1981.

However, if you aren’t a kid growing up in the 1980s and the 1990s, you probably don’t know what MTV is.

The first-ever MTV music video was made by The Buggles, also known as The Bugs.
The first-ever MTV music video was made by The Buggles, also known as The Bugs.
By Rouserouse – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.

History of Music Television (MTV)

The TV channel is the staple of music industry videos and a household name to the generation Y. If you’re one of them, did you know what the first-ever MTV music video was?

August 1st, 1981, is the day that redefined the television and music industries. That’s the day MTV started airing. It was the first cable channel to specialize exclusively in music. 

Today, more than 400 million homes worldwide watch it. However, in the first few months of its existence, there were barely a few thousand subscribers to cable television in and around New York.

Man watching television on his sofa, smoking a pipe, under a lamp.

The invention of television has replaced the radio. This was also the topic of the first-ever MTV music video “Video Killed the Radio star”.
By Radio News staff, unknown illustrator.

The MTV channel, which started as an initiative of music enthusiasts, is now an integral part of Viacom Corporation.

Sadly, with the rise of the internet, it lost its special place in the daily life of a young audience.

What is MTV?

MTV (short for Music Television until 2009) is a private TV channel that broadcasts reality shows and music videos.

It first appeared in the United States in 1981 on the need for a part of the audience for music videos. During the 1980s and 1990s, it developed in popularity with such a program. 

In the late 2000s, more and more attention was paid to reality shows, to reduce music videos to a total of 3 hours a day.

Therefore, since 2009, MTV has abandoned the name Music Television.

The First-Ever MTV Music Video

The first-ever MTV music video was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles, aired on August 1st, 1981.

It was the perfect song to start a new era in the media. It announced the beginning of the dominance of videos over the radio. 

Who Created Music Television (MTV)?

MTV was powerful media and a new, youthful, creative force without compromising on established social norms.

It was the result of a collaboration between Warner Brothers and their partner American Express.

Together they created the Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Company (abbreviated WASEC) in 1979, intending to establish themed satellite and cable television channels.

First-ever MTV video made television even more popular.
Television stores benefited greatly from the growth of popularity of MTV.
By Wags05 at English Wikipedia – Own work, Public Domain.

Creating a channel that would be dedicated to music back then wasn’t in their plans; they were more interested in sports or movies.

However, the interactive cable TV system called QUBE and Robert W. Pittman’s “Album Tracks” show in the late 1970s were the precursors to MTV.

The First-Ever MTV Video Music Award

MTV went on to produce MTV Video Music Award in 1984. Some of the MTV Video Music Award nominees and winners were musicians such as The Cars, Dire Straits, Neil Young, R.E.M., and Madonna.

MTV also made MTV Movie Award in 1992. 2019 MTV Movie Awards took place on June 15th. Both awards shows run to this day.

Where does MTV Movie Award ceremony take place?

The most popular venue form the MTV Movie Award is the Radio City Music Hall.

The first ever MTV video helped contribute to Radio City Music Hall becoming the place for MTV music award.
Radio City Music Hall is the place where MTV Movie Award ceremony takes place.
By Wally Gobetz, edited by anetode – edit of Flickr image, CC BY 2.0.

The first-ever MTV Music Video Award This is also the place in Radio City Music Hall in 1984. It is the year when Madonna won the first-ever MTV Music Video award with the song “Like a Virgin”.

Did You Watch the First-Ever MTV music video?

MTV shows as of 2018 and 2019 consist of reality programs, animated programs, as well as comedy programs.

Check your MTV schedule as soon as possible to go back to your childhood. It might differ from the old MTV, but you’ll still find the music program on.

If you want to know more about technological improvements, head to our article about the first website ever.