That’s what this Silicon Alley Insider article is wondering about the new service, mtvmusic.com, and how it’ll fair in the Net world. As even our grandparents know by now, MTV’s heyday is in the past tense, though it’s by no means toast now. As the SAI article points out, YouTube offers a lot of the same material that the new MTV service does (though they do have some exclusives) so what exactly is gonna peel away millions of YT users to an older name brand? Nostalgia? Probably not for the most part, especially if they’re already used to YT as a video destination. Plus, part of the fun of YT isn’t just the music stuff there but also all the historical stuff and the bloopers, jokes and ridiculous home movies there, which MTV would be hard pressed to compete against, even with their flood of reality shows.
And it’s not as if the channel isn’t trying but as a wise industry-watching friend pointed out, too many of the Net projects seem to evaporate too easily- remember Urge? I give ‘em credit for trying and as I said, it’s far from over for them but it’s touch for relatively older name-brand to get a hold in the video game which they once dominated after a destination like YouTube has taken over that ground. Of course, the day will come when YT itself will be an ol’ brand and struggling to catch up to the next online video destination. Then again, after Google spent $1.5 billion dollars on YT two years ago, they still have yet to figure out a way to milk some serious profit out of the site much less make back their investment. It’s a tough business and though YT’s the head dog now, they ain’t exactly on firm ground.
UPDATE: Wanna see how another site can actually compete with YouTube effectively? Check out this USA Today article about Hulu’s success.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times. Thanks everyone.