The first logo for MuchMusic when it first began was a big M with Muchmusic boxed in the centre of the M. The logo was slightly redesigned as a big M with a small m inside the outline, with the word Muchmusic below the logo. In 1996, the current logo was designed with a black-and-white Much superimposed on a planet with longitude/latitude lines on the surface. The logo change was to portray MuchMusic as more modern and youthful.
MuchMusic is well-known for its annual music awards show every June. It is anticipated and promoted for weeks before the night of the MMVAs. It has been credited with helping to foster a vibrant Canadian music scene because of the Canadian content broadcast rules which mandated native musical acts had a secure and prominent place on the channel's play schedule . As well, MuchMusic funds the creation of new Canadian music videos through VideoFACT and produces the popular album series Big Shiny Tunes and MuchDance.
As of 2007, MuchMusic has started to air a vast number of non-MuchMusic-related programs such as Girlicious, America's Best Dance Crew, The O.C., and BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (ended its run in June 2007). These programs would often air repeated episodes to gain interest from viewers.
The network also generated controversy by occasionally banning videos it deemed too racy or violent for broadcast (MTV also weathered similar controversy). Often, the network would broadcast banned videos as part of a Too Much 4 Much special, followed by discussion with viewers and concerned groups about why the video should or shouldn't be aired (but rarely would videos be unbanned). On the flipside, the worst videos of the year would also be featured in annual New Year's specials entitled Fromage (French for "cheese").
In recent years, particularly with the brief arrival of MTV on Canadian digital cable, the influence of MuchMusic has waned, and the channel has had to weather criticism that it focuses too much on "top 40" acts and imported MTV "reality shows" like Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica and Pimp My Ride, thereby not giving enough time to smaller, independent, and Canadian performers. But 2005 saw the premiere of Video On Trial, which quickly became the network's highest-rated show while featuring Canadian comedians and personalities almost exclusively as music video "judges". A special, Stars On Trial, featured popular VOT regular Ron Sparks as the judge and was the highest-rated special of the year (other than the annual MuchMusic Video Awards show).
Much has also been the centre of controversy because of its leniency in censorship. The channel often airs profane terms like "shit", "bitch", sometimes even "fuck" and does not censor the finger. This is its most contrasting feature against MTV, which goes great lengths in censoring music because Canadian media is generally more liberal in regards to censorship of obscenities or sexuality but more conservative with regards to violence. However, Much censors their programs/live special re-runs due to their large youth audience.
Perhaps owing to this, MTV was unwilling to extend its relationship with MuchMusic longer than necessary, and has made two attempts to launch a competing MTV channel in Canada. The first attempt began in 2001 when MTV Canada was launched by Craig Media and Viacom. MTV Canada had an edge over MuchMusic in that it was licensed by the CRTC as a broadly based teen channel and could air programming from various categories not just music related. In 2004, MTV Canada's owners were bought by CHUM, allowing Viacom to exit its contract with Craig, and stripped MTV programming and branding from the channel forcing Viacom to find another partner to bring MTV to Canada.
The next attempt began in 2006 when Viacom partnered with CTV to rebrand its low rated specialty channel talktv as MTV. With the new launch of MTV in March 2006, MuchMusic lost all rights to MTV programming from that point forward.
Since the acquisition of CHUM Limited (which includes MuchMusic and MuchMoreMusic) by CTVglobemedia, MTV and MuchMusic have technically been under the same ownership since June 2007. CTVglobemedia has announced that they plan on maintaining all CHUM's specialty channels including both MuchMusic and MTV. Currently both CTVglobemedia and Viacom have no plans on disaffiliating either channel from its programming and/or branding. In fact, MuchMusic and MTV have even begun airing each other's promo ads (ex. MuchMusic airing a promo for MTV's The Hills).
Despite the popularity of the VJ Search, most VJs are still hired by Much directly, without being VJ Search contestants.