MTV Still Learning That Things Don't Come So Easy On The Internet

from the you-actually-have-to-offer-something-useful dept

MTV has had an awful lot of trouble over the years trying to become the MTV of the internet. It seems that the company rested on its TV laurels for way too long, and then totally misunderstood what the online world wanted, originally insisting that its archive of video would make it a player in the space. More recently, it tried to get into the music download business, but offered a me-too package that wasn't even remotely compelling. Almost no one used it. So, it should come as no surprise that MTV is now killing off its Urge music offering, that was launched together with Microsoft, and instead focusing on a new joint venture with RealNetworks' Rhapsody music service. Of course, once again, it's going to face the same questions as before about what differentiates this from anything else out there, and once again, it seems likely that MTV won't have a very good answer.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Matt Bennett, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 12:34pm

    Well, hell, you'd think that actually playing the videos (legally, so they aren't constantly getting taken down and reposted like youTube) that they DON'T play on TV would work. Isn't that what everyone wanted?

     

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    Adam, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 12:46pm

    MTV hasn't been relevant for years...

    unless you're 14 or have zero taste in music or television...seriously

    they are dinosaurs

     

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      Michael, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 1:18pm

      Re: MTV hasn't been relevant for years...

      I agree with #2. MTV hasn't been about the music for years. Every time I turn it to their channel its just the umpteenth Real World, or some type of reality dating show. I haven't seen a video on MTV in years.

       

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    Mat, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 1:22pm

    Nah...there is videos...

    Bah there is videos! at 1am....

    And i remember back in the day when they were all about rock! those were the good mtv days, now it's all $$$$$$$$ and rap. MTv hit rock bottom a long time ago.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 1:49pm

      Re: Nah...there is videos...

      If it was rap from years ago it would be fine (it is MUSIC television after all, not just rock) but today's rap is horrible.

       

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    Ajax 4Hire, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 1:24pm

    So sad, I use to love MTV..

    MTV brought up a generation of music lovers.

    The 80s and 90s was the MTV era.

    Who among us can remember "I want my MTV!" rant by so many famous musicians, Billy Idol was my favorite. This was an advertising ploy to get folks to call up the cable operator and ask, demand MTV.

    CNN and MTV were the reason I paid for CableTV.

    But then there was the news, the MTV cribs, Pimp my ride, The house and the whole host of other "Reality TV" shows.

    I lost interest and now my kids don't know MTV, not the MTV I know, Its not your Dad's MTV anymore.

    I miss music Television, I would actually call up my cable operator and ask for a channel that played Music Videos.
    I want my MTV, back.

     

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    Marc Cohen, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 1:34pm

    More of the same

    You are absolutely correct - this is just another me-too service with more partners. They added Verizon but they haven't had much success with their OTA music service so why will people now want to download music to their phones? MTV is neither in the music business or the TV business - it is in the advertising business. They should have turned URGE into an advertising supported music downloaded service. That would have differentiated it. Check out the Ad-Supported Music Central blog: http://ad-supported-music.blogspot.com/

     

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    Casper, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 1:39pm

    Wow

    I never even noticed MTV was on the scene... but I did notice Walmart is selling non-DRM music for less then $1 a song. That was the perfect gimmick to get my attention.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 1:49pm

    It should be about time that MTV changed it's name, it is almost false advertising. I mean, how many years do you think KFC could go, selling only car tires or something?

     

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    Overcast, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 1:54pm

    But then there was the news, the MTV cribs, Pimp my ride, The house and the whole host of other "Reality TV" shows

    Yep, yep!

    MTV misunderstands what people want on TV anymore! No reason to think they would do any different on the web.

    I mean, I don't care if they play hip-hop, rock - whatever.

    But enough of the stupid games shows and sitcoms crap - play music videos..

    Dunno, I haven't watched MTV in years... once they really quit playing the music videos, I lost interest. Yeah, I know they do sometimes, but it's no where near what it used to be.

     

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    wifezilla, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 2:02pm

    The good old days

    I remember when MTV first aired. I invited 20 friends over and we had a party. I was 18.

    MTV was great to play when you had friends over. I was considered a genius for being able to hook up the cable to the stereo before they had jacks for that.

    Then they forgot why they were even around.

    A few years back I was happy again. I found FUSE. They played rock and alternative. Then THEY caught a bad case of MTV-itis. I don't watch them anymore either.

     

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      hyphen, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 3:55pm

      Re: The good old days

      Just like you I found FUSE, and I thought that a true music television station was going to have a comeback. WRONG.... Fuse went out one night, had to many beers, slept with the wrong person and caught MTV-itis. HA!

       

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    Sanguine Dream, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 2:07pm

    That ship has long sailed...

    Frankly the M in MTV needs to be changed to Mainstream because that is all it is. On the rare occasion a music video is played on MTV it'll start halfway through the video and end at the three-quarter mark. I love how it now takes almost 1 1/2hr. to play about 1/4 to 1/2 of ten music videos.

    It is no surprise that their online offering is suffering such a horrible fate. I've been to their site before (I'll have to check it tonight) but I'll bet there are more ads than videos and the layout looks like a 14 year old girl's myspace page.

    Back when MTV first started its purpose was to play music that kids wanted to hear. Now MTV (and BET for that matter) has become part of the corporate machine that wants to figure out how to create "cool". Corporations don't realize that word of mouth, internet fame, and other things of that nature cannot be bought, sold, or taught in a class (although some colleges are trying). Just look at Universal's attempt to get mixtape djs arrested and then suddenly start rolling out their own mixtape djs. You can't force people to think you are cool you have to earn it.
    You used to be able to take re

     

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    Steve, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 2:57pm

    When did MTV ever understand what people want? -Steve Edwards

     

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    John, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 3:06pm

    MTV Video Music Awards?

    This is kind of getting off the subject of MTV's website, but...

    This is an old joke (I first heard it in 2005): How can MTV have a "Video Music Award" show if it doesn't play music videos? Does playing videos at 1:00am really count? And then how long do they play videos until another episode of yet another "reality" show comes on?

     

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    His Shadow, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 3:51pm

    Laugh

    It kills me that they think the situation will change by moving to that Real Networks garbage. When I read the title I thought they had grabbed some brains and were going to stay out it altogether. If they can't make it with MS as a partner, what makes them think Real Networks is where it's at?

    Face it. If they wanted to be relevant and appeal to a real market, they'd be partnering with Apple and iTunes.

     

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    Iconic, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 4:45pm

    Same-o

    Maybe they should have a pledge drive and they could have a reunion of sorts with all the DJs talking about the good times when they showed music videos.

     

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    steve o, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 6:20pm

    They need to do something else

    they should buy a company like splashcast or even better vidora.tv to make themselves a permanent fixture on the web. instead of playing catchup they chould go on the offense with systems like those.

     

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    turkeyfrurk, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 7:04pm

    MTV has websites

    MTV has a whole pile of websites. To their credit they have mtv.com, vh1.com, bestweekever.tv, cmt.com, mysupersweet16.com, flavoroflovecasting.com, shortcircuitz.mtv.com, gametrailers.com, yomomma.tv, wannabemade.com, realworldcasting.com, and i'm sure tons more I haven't mentioned. An btw, if you don't think mtv plays music that the kids want to hear you are out of the loop and living in a cave -- open your eyes a bit and ask kids what they listen to these days -- it isn't Billy Idol and hair bands from the 80's.

     

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      Enrico Suarve, Aug 22nd, 2007 @ 8:53am

      Re: MTV has websites

      open your eyes a bit and ask kids what they listen to these days -- it isn't Billy Idol and hair bands from the 80's

      True but the other day we were setting up our box, deleting all the channels we never use - MTV ended up being a "lets keep just in case...." option

      Considering this decision was reached by my kids 14, 16 & 17 who spend most of their time watching Kerrang and other radio/music television channels, I think it says a lot about what their target audience think of them

      Face it - they don't play the music 'the kids' want to hear because they don't play music full stop. As others are pointing out, a vast majority of their airtime is given over to crap reality telly. I used to be an MTV kid, but then they used to be MUSIC TV

       

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      name, Aug 22nd, 2007 @ 10:41am

      Re: MTV has websites

      they may have websites but mtv still sucks. ur entire post was irrelevant.

       

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    NPGMBR, Aug 22nd, 2007 @ 5:13am

    Extremely Disappointed

    My first foray into digital music was a few tracks from MSN Music. At first I resisted digital tracks because of the ridiculous restrictions that come with DRM.

    Slowly I began to accept it and found faith in the Dell DJ. My DJ and I had a great time together and when MTV launched URGE it was the perfect service for me. Not long after, Dell shafted me and discontinued the DJ and pretty much left the market. (Not gonna buy another Dell product thats for sure) I also resisted getting a iPod because millions alread had them and I hate being like and having the same thing so many others have; not to mention that I didn't wanna be locked into iTunes.

    So, when my DJ died I bought a Toshiba Gigabeat (which I love). But now MTV (who never promoted URGE) is hooking up with REAL whom I can't stand.

    I still purchase the vast majority of my music on CD to avoid DRM but for those old songs for which I only want the song and not the entire album I prefer a digital track.

    I don't trust Real's software so I'm not sure what im gonna do now. I don't even care how Real's software has changed, because I can never escape the bad old days dealing with Real. I just won't risk screwing up my brand new PC with crappy software.

    This mess has only made me more apt to give in and switch to Apple, but thats not likely to happen just yet but seems much more likely than ever before.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2007 @ 7:06am

    What the hell is MTV?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2007 @ 9:03am

    Of course MTV was going to shut down urge as soon as they could. They were in a prime position as WMP's premiere service with great integration, and MS turns their back on them by dropping all plays for sure initiatives and support on the floor and heading down the yellow brick road to zuneland.

    I'd be pretty pissed too.

     

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