A Struggle to Stay Relevant:
Much Music Denied Request to Reduce Music Video Air Time to 25%
Today I read an article from the Canadian Press regarding a recent decision made by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC). They denied Much Music’s (MM) request to cut in half the required air time of music videos from 50% to %25. This decision may relieve many Canadians, all with a similar message echoing in their heads: “a music channel should play music.”
Although this statement is true, we must remember that above all, MM is a business. MM’s main competitor, Music Television (MTV), is well known for its lack of music programming. When MTV first arrived in Canada, the CRTC limited the percentage of music video content allowed to be played on MTV (in favour of promoting the Canadian brand of Much Music). This proved to be a blessing in disguise for MTV, as it gave them additional justification to play “educational” shows: gems include: Teenage Parents, Sweet 16.
MM is slowly making themselves irrelevant and outdated. MM has picked up on this notion, first by refusing to commemorate their 25th anniversary in any “razzle-dazzle” fashion. The semantics behind making a spectacle out of a quarter-century birthday would provide the youth with tangible evidence that MM is in fact an aging entity, or so MM’s producers thought.
There are many potential match-ups at play here; including: MM vs MTV, old vs new, Canadian mosaic vs USA’s melting pot, MM vs CRTC, etc. MM is continually clawing to keep up. The recent decision by the CRTC may be the nail clippers in MM’s plight.
As much as it makes sense to have music on music stations, it’s not economically feasible in today’s market. The times of highly anticipated music video premieres on television are over. Why should viewers wait until 8:00 PM for a nationwide release when access can be immediate? And for that matter, I can even purchase the album, past albums, band merchandise whilst viewing the video.
I’m not saying that it’s right, but this where the technologically driven world is headed today. MM is fighting the same battle that’s being fought by the print industry. They’re fighting to stay relevant, and they’re losing.
What’s your opinion? Feel free to share in the comments.