MEDIA: EMAP'S MUSIC TV - AN EXPERT'S VIEW. Jon Wilkins investigates Emap Performance's Telewest deal to carry all its music channels

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

moving forward?



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

commercially.



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

Limp Bizkit.



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

talent.



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

another matter.



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



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