Music videos are back, sort of

Are music videos dead? Not if MTV has anything to say about it — wait, what? The channel has debuted a new weekly video premiere show, FNMTV, and it’s a surprisingly refreshing take on Music Television in the era of the Internet.

Videos as an event

It’s clear to anyone with a television that the MTV era is over. It was a great era while it lasted, but those times are now gone. Beyond a few exceptions, music is once again something that you hear, not something you see as well. That’s why I was surprised to find out MTV still bothers to play any music videos at all anymore. As I’m sure most of you have heard by now, MTV is hyping up the fact that it’s premiering about five new music videos every week for an event called FNMTV, hosted by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy.

The idea behind FNMTV is to make an event out of music video premieres, like it used to be in the ’80s and ’90s. Everybody gather around at a specific place and time to see what new videos are premiering each week. I know there are a lot of diehard classic era MTV fans who would laugh at this move, but in the era of the Internet, I think FNMTV is a great idea.

Anybody who actually wants to watch a one-off music video anymore will go to YouTube and look it up, or they’ll be browsing the Internet elsewhere and click on the video to watch it. Nobody is going to sit around for hours waiting for a video to come on MTV anymore. No one. Just how nobody is going to sit and wait for a specific song to come on the radio. Those days are over, and that’s why we’re never going to see uninterrupted hours and hours of music videos on MTV or MTV2 ever again.

FNMTV, on the other hand, is different. It’s once a week, at a specific time, Fridays at 8 PM eastern time. The videos each time are premieres, and only premieres. No time wasted on anything you’ve already seen before. If you want to see any of them again, head off to MTV.com or YouTube or somewhere else on the Internet.

It’s so over the top—when a video is premiered, lights chase around the massive studio, smoke gets set off, and the camera slowly zooms into a giant jumbotron type screen that plays the video. Those effects are intended to be tongue-in-cheek to play up the fact that they’re making an event out of a freakin’ music video.

Freakin’ music television

Speaking of which, the name of the program itself is FNMTV. It officially stands for Friday Night, but if you pay close attention, you’ll notice that all music video programming on MTV now carries the FNMTV title, even the few remaining video blocks in the morning. It’s FNMTV; it’s freakin’ music television.

Should MTV actually keep this up and keep FNMTV on the air, I think it’ll prove to be a great way to showcase new music in a new age; music television beyond the MTV era (unless it’s cancelled next month). MTV is dead; long live MTV.

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