Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 November 2008
Music video has become an increasingly integral component of the music recording business over the past three decades. Major US record companies with international divisions have made music clips since the 1970s to promote their acts in the UK and continental Europe where television shows were a more important form of promotion for recording artists. However, record labels did not make a full commitment to music clips until after the premiere of MTV in August 1981 as a 24-hour US cable programme service presenting an endless stream of music videos. As MTV's popularity blossomed in the early 1980s, music video revitalised a troubled record industry suffering a prolonged recession by prompting renewed consumer interest in pop music and successfully developing several new recording acts like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Boy George with provocative visual images.