Video Saved the Radio Star: How YouTube Pulled Off What MTV Couldn’t

Still from Nicki Minaj's Anaconda music video

In 1981, MTV revealed their very first music video, the ironically titled “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. In that single moment, the age of visual media exploded and radio began its decline into obsolescence. To this day, most of what you’ll find playing on radio is the same recycled Top 40 hits over and over again. For an artist to gain any type of fame, it used to be that they’d have to work to get their single on the radio, and after a few weeks of play, get to have a music video on TV. Fortunately, that’s not the way it works anymore.

With the rise of the Internet age, video sites like YouTube helped revolutionize the music video medium. While it may have damaged the music industry in terms of revenue, it’s been pretty damn great for the rest of us. With every video wanting to become the next “viral” sensation, music videos are finally doing what they were intended to do and make us want to buy music again.

Nick Valdez

Nick Valdez is a second rate beauty queen who's dreaming of the bar scene. From graduating college, finding Bigfoot (by taking off his shoes), to writing about movies, he's been looking for that one special thing. Or cute girls. Whatever comes first, really.

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