MTVMusic.com purports a catalog of videos stretching back to the birth of the form available on demand at no charge. Here's a quick rundown of the early-version pros and cons.
- UNIFORM VIDEO QUALITY: While the YouTubes of the world are on the "you pays your money and you takes your chances" model of user-uploaded content, MTV, having access to the original materials, should be able to provide a minimum level of AV quality to their offerings. I haven't gone through their entire catalog, though, so if you find a grainy Los del Rio video, don't come crying to me.
- UNIFORM LEVEL OF DETAIL: From the "kinda related to the last topic" pile. YouTube doesn't have to tell you a damned thing, and when your content uploaders range in intelligence from Nobel Laureates to drooling morons, finding what you're looking for can be a YMMV experience. While MTVMusic.com doesn't go into Pop-Up Video levels of detail, at least they give a minimum amount of info on directors, labels, etc. Entering release dates under "Posted" is kinda bad form, though, what with the website not being there to accept posts until last week**.
- DRM? RIAA? LOL: Assuming that MTV isn't playing fast and loose with the rules, its catalog has a minimum level of up-and-up-ness which must be maintained to keep all parties happy. The upshot of this is the implicit guarantee that what you're seeing isn't going to go anywhere - that previously-banned Van Halen "(Oh) Pretty Woman" video you just found and linked to everyone you know isn't going to be pulled because someone didn't mention its inclusion to Diamond Dave. Embedders rejoice.
- LATE TO THE PARTY: Check both YouTube and MTVMusic.com for any video you can think of, and you'll find that a large majority of them are on both sites. Guess which one had them first? That same Van Halen cover I mentioned above has been on YouTube since at least 2006. I can't imagine that MTV is offering a sweet enough deal to their content providers to entice them to exercise enough due diligence with their properties to give MTV a music video monopoly.
- AND THOSE ARE THE ONES THEY DO HAVE: While MTV claims that more videos are being added on a daily basis, five seconds of quasi-diligent searching turned up more than one conspicuous hole in their offerings. First impressions count, and too much incompleteness in a "complete" catalog will drive traffic elsewhere and keep your site on the sidelines.
- SO MUCH FOR THE INDIES: If your band isn't...we'll call it "influential"...enough to do whatever it is that gets videos into MTV's catalog these days (it's not like they actually play them anymore), chances are good that your video isn't going to end up on MTVMusic.com. Call it the nature of the beast, but one of the things that makes user-generated content sites so popular is the access it gives indie content developers to an interested audience.
- NO BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD: You want a coup, MTV? Give me every music video segment ever featured on B&B. Provide them with better AV quality than I can find right now, organize them the same way you're doing the vanilla videos, and place them all in their own category. If you're feeling spry, go ahead and throw some of your other cartoons in the mix, too. And don't give me any crap about royalty issues - you're already in for a pound with what you're calling your entire back catalog, so go in for a penny more and get this out there.
* So to speak. I still can't tell how this business model makes money.
** Ironically enough, I found this out while watching Rollins Band's "Liar".