Is it time that Music Television is duly replaced by Interactive Internet Media websites? It has been a long road since August 1981 when MTV was initially launched.
John A. Lack, a cable television producer of the time, came up with the fundamental idea for MTV. Record companies would give away music videos for nothing (probably as promotional material for their music), so putting this abundant supply of videos on a channel would later show immense return on their investment.
This little innovation in television marketing somewhat unexpectedly created a mass following, where even Gospel preachers would borrow the contemporary communication techniques, then employed by Music Television, using senses and emotion as media to convey messages to the youth, rather than the conventional narrative means. The whole concept revolutionized humanities way we all view education, learning and information dispersion itself.
It’s a terrible shame that now MTV has now placed fresh, vibrant creativity as 2nd to commercial standardization? Musicians and artists would use the channel as a blank canvas for infinite expressiveness, calling on ones every sensory capability to come alive. Now the playlist comprises a series of prescribed eye and ear candy that’s simply designed to reach the greatest number of people possible – more than a billion households worldwide. Unfortunately, it’s a vicious cycle, as many youths are fooled, thinking it’s the only way to be. I say, play something bizarrely interesting before we all turn to jelly! Music TV should review it’s own history and search inside itself for a revamp of it’s old ways.
Perhaps, the true artist will continue to receive the cold shoulder from the mega music video channel. Maybe we are doomed to watch as they play us the prescribed performances. Perhaps there is a new advent on the way that will knock our socks off. There is of course the revolutionary new age of the internet. One might say the interactivity of the great online search based media form could wipe the music appreciation slate clean. After all, 233 North Americans (70% of the population) use the web. Who knows how many of them use it to download music in the form of mp3, apple lossless and other popular music formats. It may only be a matter of time before the majority of users browse for music videos as well, rather than the more accepted choice that is the array of music television channels. We could be looking in the near future at a total rebirth of information technology as the known world change over completely, abandoning the road more taken. Asia, with close on 400 million web users, may show the western sector up when it comes to music video consumption levels. In the United Kingdom, according to survey, about 23 hours weekly are spent online by the average internet user. Of this time, most is spent browsing websites, while online banking & shopping, playing online games, listening to radio and watching TV or video take up the rest.
So, it would appear logical to assume that eventually all media experienced by one individual will be through one portal. And, sooner than later, the music video world may be once again free to live it’s own life.
Phil Smulian is a reviewer for popular UK Music Video portal, Vidzone