Now it’s REALLY no longer “MuchMusic”

When it signed on in 1984, MuchMusic–“The Nation’s Music Station”–was a godsend for music fans all across this country. For the first time ever, a kid in St. John’s could experience the same music as a kid in Yellowknife. Millions would sit in front of their TVs for hours hoping that their favourite new music video would come up next.

And because it was illegal for anyone to carry MTV in Canada, MuchMusic had the market all to itself. For then-owners CHUM, “MM” stood for “MuchMoney.?

Once the record labels realized that music videos sold records, video channels like MM were all the rage for a good fifteen years. But then came Napster, file-sharing, iTunes, and most crucially, YouTube.

Once all music became available on demand, video channels lost their mystique and allure. MTV was the first to pivot to more lifestyle-oriented offerings. MuchMusic soon followed.

The “M” no longer stands for “music” in “MTV,” which are now just a generic set of call letters. And in case you missed it, it hasn’t been “MuchMusic” for some time. The channel was rebranded as just “Much” in 2013. Good move given that there wasn’t that much music being shown on the channel.

There will be even less music on Much going forward. Current owner Bell Media is cutting out six hours of video flow from each weekday. The only music videos they’ll run will come in a one hour noontime show featuring material from the 80s, 90s, and 00s.

Why? Ratings. Video blocks don’t attract audiences like they used to. In fact, they’re a ratings drain. While music videos are still important to the industry, it’s much smarter to make them on demand on YouTube and Vevo. No one watches them on TV.

Best keep pivoting to more movies, more lifestyle shows, more reality programming.

Here’s me talking about the whole situation with Jeff McArthur on Global News Radio AM 640.

(Via the CBC)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

8 thoughts on “Now it’s REALLY no longer “MuchMusic”

  • March 8, 2019 at 8:11 am
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    The most shocking thing here is that they actually had “six hours of video flow” each weekday. When was that scheduled – midnight to 6am?!

    Reply
  • March 8, 2019 at 8:15 am
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    Ah, those were the days. I spent so many hours watching MM as a kid. For anyone else who did the same, i highly recommend Is This Live? A book by VJ Christopher Ward. Funny side note:I had. I idea until I bought that book that Chris Ward also had a albums out with a couple of hit songs that I sang along to back in the day.

    Reply
    • March 8, 2019 at 8:18 am
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      Ugh. Fat thumbs. I had NO idea, and I have no idea how many albums he had -one or more? Sorry for not proofreading

      Reply
  • March 8, 2019 at 9:38 am
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    I spent hours upon hours back in the day watching Much Music. Power Hour, then the Power 30. The Wedge. Loved those shows. At least we have the two Stingray Music channels now. 24-7 music videos.

    Reply
  • March 8, 2019 at 5:20 pm
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    I was an intern there once.

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  • March 8, 2019 at 11:25 pm
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    I am one of the few people in Canada that still watches music videos on Much, but I never watched any of the six hours of new videos they showed everyday (evidently no one did). I only watch the one hour show that plays 90s and 00s videos, and thankfully they’re keeping it…for now.

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    • March 19, 2019 at 9:52 am
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      I watched it all day until Tosh.o started

      Reply
  • March 9, 2019 at 7:08 am
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    Millions tuned in? not sure and sadly much was never really that good, it had its moment for sure and was a needed fix if not a promotional outlet for our artists but was bubble gum like crazy. leave it to Bell media to kill something Canadian or half way original, like anything they touch the greedy b*****.
    we also got George Stroumboulopoulos out of it did we not?!

    Reply

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