Emap's burgeoning music channel network continues its move across
the multichannel UK with the announcement of its coverage on Telewest to
add to its Sky Digital coverage. Viacom now has a serious competitor
within the multichannel music world. But what does it really mean for
Joe Public and what will be the implications for these media empires
As far as the finger-switching youth of the UK are concerned, the
plethora of music channels, increasingly plugging away video after
video, can only take viewers in one direction. Viewing time to each
channel will dissipate as you watch a couple of videos you like then zap
on to the next channel for another video that takes your fancy. This can
only result in the channel garnish; the idents, the presenters, etc
becoming more and more superfluous to requirements.
In a market where the video is king, and exclusivity of content has
vanished, those with the most bandwidth may well be the ones with the
largest share of the viewing cake.
In this music TV world this would mean that Emap with its Smash Hits,
its Qs, Boxs, Kisses and Kerrangs may well come out on top
Emap is claiming that for the first time it has overtaken Viacom's
average viewing share of the music TV market on the Sky Digital
platform. The most recent Barb figures show it has 52 per cent against
Viacom's 48 per cent. The Telewest deal will allow it access to one
million more homes.
The other really big swing in Emap's favour is brands that subsist on
many platforms. Its TV channels are magazines, radio stations, events,
club nights and SMS services. Its business model is finally paying off
as it learns the skills of cross-promotion, cross-trailing content,
developing events and leveraging editorial. Here again, Viacom may find
lead in its boots.
What Emap is doing brilliantly is maximising its assets. What Viacom has
to start doing more is blending its offering. Viacom has music, movies,
and comedy as well as fantastic brand experience opportunities via
Blockbuster and Viacom Outdoor.
Emap has raised the stakes with the zapping and zipping youth, it's
Viacom's turn to up the ante.
The way to move the game on must be to start to blend their disparate
channels better. MTV could be screening movies on pay-per-view, making
an asset of its global access to artists (that may only occasionally
blunder into our shores) - more of The Strokes, The White Stripes and
Lateral thinking about its assets would be a pretty good start;
Blockbuster back into your TV, using Viacom's outdoor potential to build
hype and excitement around content, leveraging CBS's access to
The real challenge is making "being global" an asset when the punters
are heading in the opposite direction!
It is possible, but whether the Goliath can outmanoeuvre David is
Channels: Smash Hits, The Box, Kiss TV, QTV, Kerrang!, Magic
Frequency: Seven days a week
Audience: 660,700 reach across six channels
Advertisers include: Sony PlayStation 2, Ministry of Sound