Last night after getting home from work and flipping on the TiVo I was confronted with a message indicating that a new channel had been added to my lineup. Usually I skip right through these things and don’t look much further into it. This time however, the name of the channel intrigues me… the tube.
When I remembered to check out the new channel 184 a bit later I was greeted with a music video channel. After a half hour of watching I was happy to see that the channel had done nothing in that time but play videos… Peter Tosh, The Pretenders, Tal Bachman, Jamie Cullum, The Cars, Maroon 5, and Rob Thomas to be precise. Not a great selection, but not a bad one either.
What I was more excited to see… or not see really… was the lack of advertisements, promo spots, inane “reality” shows, or any other piece of programing tripe that has made that other music network so painfully unwatchable. This was just music, pure and simple. Made me feel like it was 1981 all over again. That feeling, as I learned today, was actually rather intuitive. The Tube Music Network is the brainchild of Les Garland, co-founder of MTV.
I guess its still too early to see how the tube will stack up in the coming music video wars… other than an e-commerce operation that lets you buy the music they play the tube has no real online presence. Sites like YouTube have a huge advantage over them in terms of interactivity, social technology and online capabilities. Within a few short years (or perhaps months? now?) music video consumers will not settle for just sitting back an watching a random stream of videos. They’ll want to comment, make playlists, upload their own, tell their friends about new stuff, and learn about new stuff from their friends… or at least from some slick algorithmic robot that nows what you’ll like. That’s the future.
Still it’s nice to see a video channel that just plays videos… I have fond memories of 1981.