Thursday, 26 March 2015

How to Create a Modern Music Channel

Music videos don't bring in ratings. Music-related shows are boring to watch. So what do you do? You bring in a bunch of shows that people like to watch yet, at the same time, have nothing to do with music. That's the general strategy of so-called music networks nowadays. You see, anyone who isn't a metalhead will know that the days of MTV being a music network have LONG gone. Nowadays, it's the definitive youth entertainment network airing a broad range of documentaries, dramas & comedies, lifestyle series...and shitty reality shows. 

The same can be said for every other network north and south of the boarder. MTV2 is a young male version of MTV, VH1 is a pop culture network for adults, Much is a pop culture network for youth, and M3 is an entertainment network. Fuse, after years of fighting off decay, looks like it will give up after it merges with NuvoTV. At least they have the excuse of nobody watching the channel; proving my point that music networks are as obsolete as video game and technology networks. It's too niche a genre to make a profit. That's the ultimate paradox: music networks have to broaden their programming scope, but they take it too far!

Fast forward to today, Revolt is emerging as, true to it's tagline, "The New #1 Name in Music". That's because Revolt is playing it safe. When it comes to non-music programming, they focus on topics that are of actual relevance to their audience. Hell, long before Revolt, I considered CMT to be what Fuse should have been like. Take a close look, notice how some of the shows CMT has aired, if not related to country music, relate to the country lifestyle. Dukes of Hazard, Reba, The Broken Skull Challenge? Don't tell me you didn't notice the pattern? For crying out, they even play more music videos than VH1!

Of course, I have to bring up Aux and Bpm:tv, because, not counting the Much spin-offs, they are the last real music networks in our country; the rest are essentially entertainment networks that also play music videos. However, Aux and Bpm are undoubtedly supported by our broken television landscape, where networks that, for all accounts, should be yanked off the air (MTV2 Canada) persist thanks to cable packages. Once pick-and-pay becomes a reality, these channels may have to change things up, perhaps become no better than Much or M3, otherwise their days will be numbered.

So, taking all of this into account, how do you create a music channel without transforming it into another MTV or Much knock-off? Do you rely on music videos? Do create music-related shows that resonate with your audience? Maybe you should mix things up; find an equilibrium between music and entertainment, with music on the dominant end.

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