Interesting fact #1: The Surreal Life and other Sunday night celebreality™ series delivered the largest monthly audience to VH1 in the history of the network. An average 699,000 total viewers watched in prime time in January, according to the network’s analysis of Nielsen Media Research data. Non-music programming on a channel called "Video Hits One" is getting the biggest ratings. Ever. Not so much a surprise, but a sign of the times.
Which brings me to Interesting fact #2: The Universal Music Group will no longer provide music videos for free. Internet and cable services that play videos on-demand must negotiate licensing deals or remove them. The record company also vowed to not advertise on internet sites or cable outlets that do not strike licensing agreements, says the New York Times. Will the other labels follow? UMG's chairmen Doug Morris was quoted, "Too many businesses have been built on the back of the content we produce. So in the future, content we produce won't just be provided for free for promotional purposes. People will have to pay if they're going to use it."
Let's see here. The big video channels are clearly trending away from playing music videos. Their answer is to have the subsequent services that are trying to help fill the void left by MTV and VH-1 pay to promote UMG bands? The industry has done it again. What's next, radio stations being charged for promo copies? Charge kids to join street teams? The same people who paid DJs for spins back in the day [Alan Freed anyone?], pay for all placement in every retail store and created a indie promo/consultant hellscape of excessive pay for play now want to tweak a few cents per view for videos on-line that fans actually want to watch. Maybe we should let them handle Social Security while the brain trust is at it.
A thought, will the artist receive a cut of these licensing fees?
UMG had the right idea when they chose to slash CD prices last year, I'm not too sure about this one.