Music channels really are a load of pish. Apparently it is cheaper to run a music channel than it is to publish a magazine. And it shows. This is probably why Emap like to milk every last droplet out of their magazine brands while the magazines themselves have gone the way of the dodo (hello, Smash Hits!).
Freeviewers like myself have two and two-halves options. There is The Hits and TMF — the two halves being E4 Music and E4+1 Music+1 or whatever it may be called. I have to say that E4 really must be applauded for actually making music television watchable. You can tell they’ve put in a bit of effort to make it a bit more diverse, aiming for a more discerning audience. It’s just a shame that if I ever have a day free to dispose of by vegging in front of a glowing square, I am hardly ever up early enough to watch E4 Music.
The Hits and TMF are just diabolical though. When I first got Freeview I found it difficult to believe quite how many adverts they were broadcasting. Every three videos or so it would be time for another commercial break — one long enough for you to flick through all the other channels at least twice. And there are the adverts themselves of course. All for ‘ringtone clubs’ aimed at people with the intelligence of a fish.
Even worse are these new quiz subscriptions, which are like some evil combination of quiz channels and ringtone clubs. I wonder if anybody has yet won that Â£2000 they were giving away to one lucky person who was stupid enough to subscribe but clever enough to know that another name for ‘money machine’ is ‘blackbox’. …What?
Despite the fact that it appears to be so cheap to run a music channel, I saw recently that The Hits has jumped onto the quiz channel bandwaggon. At least it’s very late at night. What gets me is that they’ve decided to squeeze in a couple of hours of Teleshopping as well! I mean really! Do we really need yet more Teleshopping?!
Meanwhile, TMF is the home for amusing technical glitches. If you’ve ever watched TMF late at night you will no doubt be aware of ‘Matchmaker X-rated’, the on-screen money-making scheme that encourages twelve-year-old nincompoops to text their name and date of birth which in turn makes the ‘Matchmaker’ generate some random naughty text. A typical caption might say, “Ooh, you just made the computer cum in your eye. Try felching her ear tonight.” Well that once went out during the day.
Andrew at Cage of Monkeys has his own idea for a music channel:
NO ZANE LOWE!
Give that man an EPG number!
In the process, Andrew linked to this blog of interesting music videos. Definitely one to subscribe to. I like this video for Jamie Lidell’s ‘New Me’. It reminds me a bit of those smart BBC Four idents. Must have been a chore to time it all.