The Washington Post extolls the virtues of music video

With VMAs, MTV celebrates an art form that’s more vital — and viral — than ever

By Chris Richards, Published: September 5


At Thursday night’s Video Music Awards, MTV will squeeze a fleet of pop stars into the Staples Center in Los Angeles to honor music videos, those radio-star killers that the network popularized in the ’80s, then left for dead in the ’00s.

But music videos haven’t vanished. They’ve stormed the pearly gates of YouTube, where they’re enjoying an influential afterlife.

According to an August report from Nielsen, nearly two-thirds of American teenagers get their music from YouTube. That makes the Google-owned video site the most popular music medium for an eternally prized demographic — and its dominance marks a continuing shift in the ways pop music is experienced, shared and marketed.

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