When was the last time you tuned in to a radio station and anxiously awaited the world premiere of a song? Have a quick think. Or how about flicking over to a music channel for an exclusive first play of a video? We’re guessing it’s been a little while…
Instead, you’re more likely to see *WORLD PREMIERE* or *Exclusive* lit up on one of your favourite blogs or websites over the course of your day – but why is this? Aren’t the multi-million pound organisations such as the BBC, Capital FM and MTV the most worthy and obvious platforms of having that first play?
Sure the latest Benga dub may get its first play on MistaJam‘s 1Xtra show, and Charlie Sloth is more than likely to have the first spin on one or two of your favourite UK rap joints, but the excitement and anticipation of a world première simply doesn’t hold the same weight as it used to, wouldn’t you agree? Things such as premières and lively sets are what makes radio exciting, not ads an and overly-hyped playlist singles. Therefore, we think it’s more plausible that you’ll flick through a selection of radio stations and music channels simply when the inconvenient situation of not having your iPhone fully charged arises, as opposed to spending hours perched on your sofa just waiting for your favourite song to arrive, right?
So is radio and music TV dead? Far from – lots of people still choose TV and radio as their first point of call for their daily dose of music and the viewing figures remain fairly solid; so the argument that the internet has culled off all competition seems pretty null and void. However, with the hordes of reality TV and alternative entertainment creeping its way on to the majority of major music channels, it wouldn’t seem too far off the mark to suggest that the fast pace of YouTube/VEVO premières – along with the growing number of people using blogs to track down new music – is certainly having a detrimental effect on the consumer’s willingness to lock in to MTV or Kiss for the freshest video releases. After all, where exactly does Geordie Shore fit in to the mantra of Music TeleVision anyway? Slightly puzzling, that one.
Using the internet as a platform, artists have shed the red tape of attempting to record a single and shoot a video ‘suitable’ for television and radio. And, in fact, why should any creative person bow down to the restrictions set by a corporation which has no other interest in music besides making money? Although it’s almost become the norm to compromise your work in pursuit of financial gain, at least the freedom of the internet provides another route for artists to gain an audience. After all, who wants to spend hours schmoozing TV execs when you can head down to your local park – equipped with a HD cam – and have a video posted up on your favourite blog later on that night. Simple.
Well..maybe not that simple, but certainly feasible. Although the likelihood of such an amateur effort being snapped up by a major website or blog is minimal, with a sniff of talent and the ability to write a good email that separates you from the rest, the opportunities to get your music heard by a large audience can really begin to open up.
Regardless of the loss of the excitement in radio and music television, one thing’s for certain; the many monopolies found within the music industry by large organisations hoarding the best and biggest content are beginning to be broken down, with the blogs – both large and small – offering a broad spectrum of content suitable for everyone’s tastes. This transition, many would argue, hands the power back to the people. No longer are you forced to listen to music endorsed by large corporations intent on dictating your musical taste in pursuit of a quick pound; you can now log on to your favourite niche blog (or scope some new talent on SB.TV, of course ) and navigate your own way to something you know you’ll personally enjoy — and that can’t be a bad thing, surely.
What are your thoughts? Has the internet eclipsed radio and music television, or are they alive and well? As always, you can get involved with the debate by using the #SBTVListenUp hashtag on Twitter or by dropping us a message in the comments section below.
Written by Ash Houghton