New Music was an umbrella term used by the music industry and by music journalists in the United States, primarily during 1982 and 1983 to describe music acts who had come to commercial success in the United States through the cable music channel MTV. It is associated with the Second British Musical Invasion of the United States.
During 1976 and 1977 there was a punk rock music explosion in the United Kingdom. In its wake the New Wave and post-punk genres emerged informed by a desire for experimentation, creativity and forward movement. As the 1980s began a number of these musicians desired to broaden these movements to reach a more mainstream audience. Out of this desire came a technologically oriented music that hid its less commercial and experimental aspects underneath a pop shell. From 1981 to 1983 music journalists began to replacing the term "New Wave" with New Romantic and New Pop in Great Britain, and "New Music" in America. The American music industry was caught off guard by the emergence of New Music. Unlike in Great Britain, attempts prior to 1982 to bring New Wave and music video to American audiences had brought mixed results. In reaction to New Music Album Oriented Rock radio stations doubled the amount of new acts they played and the format "Hot Hits" emerged.
New Music was used to describe acts that had a wide variety of sounds. Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote at the time that New Music was more about its practitioners then the their sound. Many New Music acts had an androgynous look, emphasized the synthesizer and drum machines, wrote about the darker side of romance, and were British. The term was also used to describe New Wave acts that had become popular prior to MTV's launch such as Elvis Costello and American MTV stars such as Michael Jackson.