MTV launched their cable television channel on August 1, 1981 with the broadcast of “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. After the initial buzz from the launch, the network struggled in it’s early years due to various reasons like having a small inventory of videos, reruns and cable network was still also young and seen as a luxury. The network expanded its library to include R&B artists and the network took off. Some notable singles that released on the network were “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” by Michael Jackson, proving the strengths of the new video format and the ability to propel artists into super stars. Newcomers like Madonna and Duran Duran found success on the network as well. They used creative techniques to make the video as important as the music.
Fast-forward to the mid 90’s when MTV.com was launched. We couldn’t find an exact date but Wayback Machine detected activity on their site as early as May 12, 1996.
We found some shots of the Top 20 music lineup for Dec 13, 1996 that included artists NAS, Sublime, No Doubt, Sheryl Crow and Bush.
Here’s their Daily News section. Check out the first headline!! It’s about Tupac’s murder which happened that same year! 😢 The original article can still be accessed here!