“It’s like ‘Music to My Eyes.'” So begins the FAQ on MTV’s recently launched MTV Music site.
The site is an easy-to-navigate trove of nearly every music video ever to play on the network. Unlike MTV’s main Website, MTV Music isn’t cluttered with reality-TV updates, and celebrity gossip. The site is dedicated to allowing visitors to easily search for high-quality music videos from nearly any artist or band.
Though the site is still in beta, MTV plans to add numerous features that will make the site the go-to destination for music videos on the Web. Most notably, users will soon be able to create video playlists; and bands will soon be able to upload their own videos. While MTV works out certain international copyright agreements, the site’s video content is limited to US artists. The site is also completely ad-free at this point, though that will likely change as it begins to draw more traffic.
What’s innovative about this launch? A few things. First, it’s a focused effort to bring high-quality content to Web viewers/listeners. The videos on the site are of much higher quality than you’ll find on YouTube and other online video sites. Like Hulu (the online video database run by NBC Universal and News Corp), MTV Music allows MTV to create a viable revenue stream online without having to enter into potentially complex revenue sharing agreements with third-party sites. We’re beginning to see this specialization of online video because sites like YouTube are beginning to grow too big for their own good. While YouTube will likely remain the go-to destination for video-on-the-Web, users that are looking for higher-quality, specialized content will have many more options going forward.
Second, the site is a great way for MTV to get back to its roots without having to completely overhaul its programming. It’s no secret that MTV the channel isn’t so much about the music these days. Save for a few hours of music videos early in the morning, the vast majority of MTV’s programming has little to do with music. MTV Music answers the need for high-quality music video, and adds an on-demand element that MTV wouldn’t be able to offer on television.
So head on over to MTV Music and enjoy.