Monday, July 04, 2005

Want to see a rock concert? Tune to AOL, not MTV

Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times spills some serious vitriol over MTV's non-coverage of the Live 8 concerts:

Everyone knows MTV has long lost interest in pop music, so why doesn't the cable channel just admit it and leave the coverage of historic events, such as the humanitarian Live 8 concerts, to someone with respect for the music and its audience?

And he's right; MTV should change its name to Formerly Music Television. But Hilburn's larger point is more compelling: that AOL covered the concerts completely, and offers up complete archives as well. MTV in contrast ran numerous commercials, and frequently cut away to its "personalities" yammering about the events -- instead of showing the concerts themselves.

Mitch Kapor wrote years ago that the metaphor of cable television offering "500 channels but nothing's on" is the wrong formulation -- instead, we will have an unlimited number of channels, and you just pick the URL for the one you want. Maybe we're getting closer.

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