An interesting new service coming out of the States today: Universal Music, the recording giant, has announced the trial of a music video video-on-demand service. The scheme, the mechanics of which are being provided by Gotuit Media, will offer digital cable subscribers on-demand access to music videos from an initial catalogue of a couple of hundred new music clips.
The company will also offer specific sub-label-branded channels offering the same service. The first two will be from hip-hop labels Def Jam and rap star Eminem�s vanity label, Shady Records. Other possible sub-label-branded channels include a Verve Records jazz video channel.
The service will apparently be offered for free, as the service is seen by the record company as an advertising medium for its artists.
Now, there are already a plethora of music video streaming/download sites on the web that either offer free-to-view, undecipherable, three-pixel-wide clips of all the artists whose videos you have no interest in watching with all the audio quality of a Victrola, or subscription fee-for-service four-pixel-wide clips of a few more artists with all the audio quality of a CB radio. (Okay, so the audio and video quality for the latter�s not actually quite that bad, but stick with me for the sake of a more balanced pair of similes). What is interesting and new is the idea of what essentially is a personal DTV music video jukebox.
Although the number of tracks available initially is pretty small, an expansion of the idea - if other labels come on board - could produce an interesting effect vis � vis music video TV stations like MTV. In a world where viewers can programme their own music video jukebox, what place is there for a traditional music video channel (apart from, obviously, producing non-music-video content like The Osbornes and an ever-expanding schedule of Jackass-esque poo-eating juvenilia)?
Source: Leigh Phillips, DMeurope