MTV’s debut in 1981 ‘broke’ television and the entertainment trade way before ‘breaking the Internet’ existed. By disrupting radio by playing visual spectaculars paired with catchy bops all day, MTV rose to fame (Michael Jackson also helped with his iconic ‘Thriller’ video).
Fast forward to the 21st century and music video content isn’t exclusive to television anymore as it’s also widely accessible and available through the World Wide Web. There’s nothing digital technology can’t do. Will television suffer the same fate as radio once did? Let’s weigh in on the prowess of YouTube’s latest services: YouTube Music and YouTube Premium.
Extending its arm to music streaming, the Google-acquired video sharing platform will not only stream user-created digital video content, but also host a made-for-music app and web player, replacing Google Play Music too.
Before you start being dismissive— yes, all music streaming platforms offer the same tunes distributed by record companies. But YouTube Music, both the ad-supported free version and paid YouTube Music Premium—allows access
to a rare catalogue of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos unavailable elsewhere. Sounds like a winner to live music enthusiasts who like to immerse in real-time ad-lib renditions.
Or a particular online-only exclusive track that isn’t included in the musician’s official LP release. For example, rare B-sides like Kylie Minogue’s Giorgio Moroder and Fernando Garibay-produced track ‘Your Body’.
Another asset in favour of YouTube Music is its convenient audio and video switching. Toggling effortlessly between songs and music video content in the background for uninterrupted listening and watching, YouTube Music Premium provides offline downloads that allow users to enjoy a self-curated playlist without any Internet connection.
Music videos also reduce the invisible gap between musician and audience, granting fans access to the former’s artistry thanks to visual presence. After all, seeing is believing.