“I want my MTV” was the catchphrase of a generation. Music Television. Sounds like a good concept, right? Music videos on MTV all day, every day. This may have been the case in the ’80s, but if you turn to MTV for music today, you probably won’t find what you’re looking for. It’s time to leave MTV in the past. In this post, some new and better ways to watch music videos.
I’ll start by talking about how you can watch music videos for free on-demand over the Internet. Then I’ll talk about the iTunes music video service that allows you to download videos and watch them on your iPod. Finally, I’ll talk about The Tube Music Network, a new broadcast channel that promises to bring music videos back to television.
Online and on-demand
The first way to watch music videos again is to go to free, on-demand services on the Internet. Let’s face it — it isn’t a smart idea to wait up until 4 o’clock in the morning just to see some music videos on MTV, then wait through those endlessly long commercials, hoping to see some new video by your favorite artist.
The most popular on-demand music video site is Yahoo! Music. According to a press release from Yahoo! Media Relations, Yahoo! Music represents nearly half of all music videos watched on the Internet, and it is the Internet’s largest music video library.
Yahoo! Music is now the home of many world premieres for music videos, with artists and record labels realizing that MTV will only play their music videos late at night, or possibly not play them at all.
According to an article in the Washington Post earlier this month, music videos on Yahoo! are watched 350 million times per month. David Goldberg, the vice president and general manager of music for Yahoo!, says that primarily younger viewers have made the switch to the Internet so far, and that more people are watching videos on Yahoo! Music each day than the number of people still staying up late to watch videos on MTV.
Watching music videos on Yahoo! Music is free and easy. By going to the site and typing in the name of the video you want to see, you can get to watch it in just a few clicks. Or if you’re just killing time, you can check out one of the promotions on their main page, such as premiere videos or their top 10 countdown.
Download and go
I’m sure all of you are familiar with Apple’s iPod, an MP3 player which allows you to play music anywhere, and iTunes, the program you use to download music and transfer to your iPod. Recently they’ve updated both iPod and iTunes with video, meaning that you can use iTunes to download music videos and then transfer them to your iPod so you can watch them anywhere.
According to an article last month by the Associated Press, Apple “started on the right foot” by pricing music video downloads at $1.99, a price that “sounds reasonable and should resonate with consumers.”
After paying the $1.99 for the music video of your choice, it’s yours to keep and you can watch it on your computer at any time or transfer it to your iPod to watch on the go whenever you want.
According to Stony Brook Independent, the iTunes music video download service has been a success since it launched. Apple CEO Steve Jobs was quoted as saying, “Selling one million videos in less than 20 days strongly suggests there is a market for legal downloads.”
If the success of their music download service is any indication, their video service should also prove to be a long-term success. Both services provide a great opportunity for viewers to escape MTV’s lack of music content and essentially program their own channel of music on their computers and iPods, as long as you’re willing to pay a dollar for each song and two dollars for each video you want to own.
What’s old is new again
But what if you still feel like going old school and watching music videos on TV? A new broadcast channel is promising to bring music videos back to where they started. The Tube Music Network is a new digital broadcast TV station that plays the newest music videos, as well as ones from the 80’s and 90’s, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, just like MTV did when it first started.
The Tube Music Network is syndicated through affiliates across the country and available in most major areas, though usually only available to people with brand new high definition TVs or digital tuners for their TVs. In the future, it’s very possible that The Tube will be added to cable or that everyone will have digital tuners for their TVs anyway, so they will be able to watch it.
According to Broadcasting & Cable magazine, the president of Raycom Media, which is syndicating The Tube Network, says “we’re already getting e-mails from people that stumbled on it, and they can’t believe it is all music.” The Tube is something to keep an eye out for if you want to watch music videos on TV.
If you’re still staying up late to catch some music videos on MTV, it’s time to ditch that and start using one of these newer and better outlets — Yahoo! Music, Apple’s iTunes, or The Tube Music Network — to find and watch the music videos you want to see. MTV may have lost its charm a long time ago, but music videos are still going strong, and now it’s up to you to use these new outlets to find a lot of great new music and videos that you’re never going to see on MTV.