MTV Music is a new website from MTV wholly dedicated to music videos. But will this Hulu for music be able to compete with the many destinations already on the Web for music video lovers?
From MTV To RealityTV
MTV was once a channel dedicated to music videos, hence the name. But recent years have seen this completely change, with the group of channels now much more likely to show reality or lifestyle programming.
Personally, I’m not a fan of this change, much preferring the MTV of old where there was wall-to-wall music videos from night until noon and not an episode of The Hills or The Real World anywhere in sight.
Luckily for me and other fans of the old-style channel, MTV has recently launched MTV Music, a website dedicated just to music videos, all of which are on demand, and free to watch.
The site has launched with both old and new videos available to watch, all of which can also be embedded to websites, blogs, and social networks. There’s also the chance to comment and rate each video.
The site looks great, with clean lines and a well structured front page. There’s also nice alphabetical search capabilities, and the chance to view videos by ‘Top Rated’ and ‘Most Viewed’.
As Silicon Alley Insider states, there is also definitely room for adverts on each page, and the opportunity for MTV to sell pre-roll, post-roll, and pop-over ads on each video.
The artists featured on the site are currently quite limited but that’s sure to change as time goes on. There’s certainly enough at the moment to keep anyone occupied for a few hours.
But there are a couple of problems. Firstly, and most importantly for me, and anyone else located outside of the U.S. is the fact that the music videos are all copyright restricted and completely unplayable for anyone other than U.S. residents.
This is by no means the first or only site to use territorial restrictions on Web video, with Hulu being the most obvious example, but it seems slightly ludicrous when every single one of the videos on MTV Music is also available on YouTube with no such restrictions.
So clearly, I, and anyone else not resident in America will carry on using YouTube for our music video viewing pleasure. Which leads to the second problem facing MTV with this venture: why would anyone switch sites when YouTube already offers an established alternative.
Able To Compete With YouTube?
MTV Music does have some advantages – social aspects, higher quality video, better search functions etc, but I can’t really see those small things being enough to drag people away from YouTube. Even if they do have the choice to use MTV Music.
MTV may also soon face competition from the Universal Music Group which is considering setting up its own dedicated music video website. Clearly there’s money to be made in on-demand video broadcasting.