Online channel Vevo says it can 'boost' music on TV


Online music video service Vevo says one of the reasons it is launching a UK TV channel is because there aren't enough opportunities for artists to appear on television.

But broadcasters like the BBC say viewing habits have changed, with audiences consuming music programming on an on-demand basis.

Top Of The Pops came off air in 2006 and Channel 4's T4 ended in 2012.

Some artists say there are now fewer opportunities to appear on TV.

TV opportunities

Nic Jones, Vevo's international senior vice-president, said: "Later…With Jools Holland is the only place you can go on free to air that really gives you that [opportunity].

Certain programmes are still an appointment to view but I think now our audience is saying they want to choose when they watch them
Jan Younghusband, commissioning editor music and events, BBC

"We think Vevo is the answer to that and we totally believe there is a place for it."

Jan Younghusband is the BBC's commissioning editor for music and events.

She says the BBC produces 250 hours of original music programming every year.

"The BBC saw, over the years, a massive decline in the Top Of The Pops audience because the way we consume music has changed so dramatically," she said.

"Certain programmes are still an appointment to view but I think now our audience is saying, 'We want to choose when we watch these programmes'."

In June the BBC will stream coverage of six of Glastonbury's stages online.

Audiences are increasingly using on-demand services such as ITV player, 4oD and the BBC's iPlayer.

TV 'catch'

Vevo's Nic Jones says there is a "catch" between existing terrestrial digital TV channels and production companies.

"If you talk to [record] labels they'll say, 'Why won't the TV channels programme music? Everyone loves music?'

Everything Everything
Image caption Everything Everything say there are few chances for bands to perform on TV

"Talk to the TV channels and it's like, 'Music in primetime, nobody wants to watch it.' It kind of seems betwixt and between - there's a catch there."

There are between 180-200 million clicks on videos on Vevo in the UK every month, most coming via YouTube.

Vevo TV will see a mix of music videos and original programming, such as Vevo's LIFT new artist scheme which has featured artists like Rita Ora and Bastille.

Jones says Vevo, which is owned by the major record companies, are moving into TV because "there are times when people just want to sit back and be entertained".

Image caption UK band Bastille have previously been featured on Vevo's LIFT programme

Iain Funnell, general manager at music programme makers Globe productions, admits it can be a challenge for the band looking for a breakthrough.

"What's become quite difficult is those individual slots which bands use to promote their record and reach a more diverse and broad audience," he explains.

"It's up to the production community to come up with new, engaging ways to present that material."

"There isn't really any music television now," says Jeremy Pritchard from Manchester band Everything Everything.

"There are very few opportunities for bands to play live [on TV]. Even Saturday morning programmes when we were kids would have a couple of pops bands on miming or occasionally playing live."

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