Friday, January 14, 2011

LCD Soundsystem, Powered by MTV

It seems MTV has decided to start funding music videos, an interesting choice as they don't show many of them anymore. LCD Soundsystem's video for "Pow Pow" is the first MTV funded video.

It's interesting to think about. MTV (or the concept of what MTV was and should be) distributes music videos. Historically, it should know more about music videos than anyone else. And if it was ten years ago, we probably should be worried that the channel that controls the distribution could also control the content.

But nobody watches MTV for music videos anymore. MTV programming is based on reality TV now, and they keep adding more and more channels (VH1, MTV2, MTV Tr3s, mtvU) which keep showing videos for a while until they too fill with reality tv and require even more channels (MTV Hits, MTV Jams, etc). They no longer control music videos: artists and the internet do.

You no longer need a production crew and tons of money to make a video. All you need is a camera and some editing software. Sure, pop stars need polished videos, but the internet is flooded with bands like OK Go who take the reins on their own projects and create unique entities that may never see the TV waves, but still get millions of views. Even those pop princesses get more views online than they're probably getting on TV.

Music no longer needs MTV, and the video that they funded ended up being kind of boring. I think maybe they're trying to be edgy (or sadly ironic) with all the masonic imagery. They've gone from being the place to discover music to a channel about pregnant teens and dating shows.

MTV is completely out of touch.

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