Did you know that in the late 1980s, before the World Wide Web existed, MTV VJ Adam Curry began experimenting on the internet. He first registered the then-unclaimed domain name “MTV.com” in 1993 with the idea of being MTV’s unofficial new voice on the internet. This move was sanctioned by his supervisors at MTV Networks at the time, when Curry left to start his own web-portal design and hosting company, MTV subsequently sued him for the domain name, which led to an out-of-court settlement. They did not realize the lucrative benefit of having a domain name.

The service hosted at the domain name was originally branded “MTV Online” during MTV’s first few years of control over it in the mid-1990s. It served as a counterpart to the America Online portal for MTV content, which existed at AOL keyword MTV until approximately the end of the 1990s. After this time, the website became known as simply “MTV.com” and served as the internet home base for all MTV and MTV News content.

MTV.com experimented with entirely video-based layouts between 2005 and 2007. The experiment began in April 2005 as MTV Overdrive, a streaming video service that supplemented the regular MTV.com website. Shortly after the 2006 Video Music Awards, which were streamed on MTV.com and heavily utilized the MTV Overdrive features, MTV introduced a massive change for MTV.com, transforming the entire site into a Flash video-based entity.

Much of users’ feedback about the Flash-based site was negative, demonstrating a dissatisfaction with videos that played automatically, commercials that could not be skipped or stopped, and the slower speed of the entire website. The experiment ended in February 2006 as MTV.com reverted to a traditional HTML-based website design with embedded video clips, in the style of YouTube and some other video-based websites.