Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MTV to Put a Bit More Music Back, in the A.M.

From the New York Times courtesy of the Huffington Post newswire:

MTV is adding more music videos to its schedule — at 3 a.m.

On Monday the network starts “AMTV,” a six-hour block for music and advertising experimentation. From 3 to 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday, it will show music videos, news, interviews and performances, harking back to the network’s origins as a 24-hour home for music videos.

Now, of course, the network is more synonymous with unrealistic reality shows like “The Hills” than with music. Over the years the network, a unit of Viacom, has relegated music videos to its less popular digital channels and intermissions between shows.


Critics of MTV say that its music brand is all but irrelevant now, since countless music videos and songs are only a click away on YouTube and other Web sites. The network canceled “TRL,” its long-running video countdown, last fall after years of sagging ratings. Mr. Friedman acknowledged that music had not always drawn “the level of viewership we hope for,” but nonetheless he said, “we know our audience wants more of it.”

More here.

Funny. I always thought TRL was canceled because it sucked. Silly me, guess I was wrong.

At any rate, I'm kind of looking forward to this. I mean, it could be awful, if they play like only five or six videos over and over, you know, like TRL did, but six hours is a long time by television standards, and I'm hoping for some oddball stuff to break through, especially during the wee hours. I'll never forget the day I started losing interest in MTV: I saw an episode of Remote Control and I didn't get it. I was still in their target demographic, a teenager, but I just didn't understand how Remote Control was supposed to be something I liked. And what the fuck did it have to do with music videos? Maybe I was old before my time, but the all video format was pretty fucking cool, and abandoning it alienated me as a viewer. Really, one of the appeals of Beavis and Butthead a decade after the format change started was getting to see cool music videos I wouldn't have otherwise seen.

So this is a welcome change. Maybe I'll start to care about pop music again. Weirder things have happened.

Here, check out some old school MTV promos: