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Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching rock tune composed by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over the American flag changed to show MTV's logo changing into various textures and designs.

MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a concept; Seibert said that they had originally planned to use Neil Armstrong's "One small step" quote, but lawyers said that Armstrong owned his name and likeness and that he had refused, so the quote was replaced with a beeping sound.

Several music programs originating outside of the US, including Australia's Countdown and the United Kingdom's Top of the Pops, which had initially aired music videos in lieu of performances from artists who were not available to perform live, began to feature them regularly by the mid-1970s.

In 1974, Gary Van Haas, vice president of Televak Corporation, introduced a concept to distribute a music video channel to record stores across the United States, and promoted the channel, named Music Video TV, to distributors and retailers in a May 1974 issue of Billboard.

MTV (originally an initialism of Music Television) is an American cable and satellite television channel owned by Viacom Media Networks (a division of Viacom) and headquartered in New York City.

Launched on August 1, 1981, In its early years, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily towards teenagers, particularly high school and college students.

MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the US and affiliated channels internationally, some of which have gone independent, with approximately 90.6 million American households in the United States receiving MTV as of January 2016.