MTV Rediscovers Music Videos, Prepping ‘MTV Music’ Site For UK

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MTV, a teen reality drama TV broadcaster which used to air music videos, is now planning to go back to its roots – at least, online – by bringing its US-based dedicated music videos site over to the UK.

MTVMusic.com launched in October in America with new and vintage music promos plus social user profiles, custom playlist creation and off-site widget embeds. Clean and spartan, it’s like Joost, but just for music videos, many of which don’t have rights cleared for this side of the Atlantic. So Viacom (NYSE: VIA) Brand Solutions’ Europe digital VP Andy Chen told NMA it’s crossing the pond in Q3…

Chen: “If you look at our brand legacy, music videos are our crown jewels. We want to open up our library and give everyone access. This is clearly going to be a destination for music videos online.” That might as well be euphemism for saying MTV has squandered its heritage – long ago, the broadcaster had the opportunity to leverage its archive of videos to create a definitive online destination – but now YouTube is the one profiting from the medium and MTV’s parent is suing Google’s site for $1 billion. In “MTV Music”, the broadcaster is effectively creating a brand called “Music Television Music”.

Still, it’s early days. Whilst the US MTVMusic.com is ad-supported, there’s little evidence of advertiser buy-in – most banners point only to music vids themselves. Chen told NMA he’s “in initial discussions with a lot of brands” and “exploring all our options for revenue models beyond media sponsorship” due to the worsening advertising economy.

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