Sunday, 22 December 2013

Movies & Music Channels: How to Survive Channel Drift.

Movie channels and music channels are both in the same boat. For basic cable movie channels, services like Netflix -  which allows you to watch your favorite movies in a click of a button - have made them near obsolete. For Music channels, services like Vevo -  which allows you to watch your favorite music videos in...well, you know what I mean. So now the challenge is to find something other than just movies and music to give to their audience.

In addition to original programming, Corus' CMT added family-oriented programming to the evenings. That would be fine... if YTV wasn't broadcasting the same syndicated shows or if the other shows weren't neither country-music related (Undercover Boss Canada) nor family friendly (Fear Factor). Good thing they still broadcast more music videos then their americian counterpart.
After re-branding to M3, the channel formerly known as MuchMore began adding more scripted dramas and sitcoms alongside reality shows and on top of music programming. It was the perfect way to refresh an ailing spinoff network but I fear Canada doesn't have an outlet for adult contemporary music anymore. It really should have been MTV2 that got this treatment.

That brings me to MuchMusic. On the plus side, they got rid of the teen dramas and reality shows and replaced them with comedy shows. It sounds like shark-jumping bullshit, but in an era where niche programming like anime and black shows take a back seat to dramas and reality shows - in an era where television is pandering to women and brainwashed teen pop fangirls, it's sigh of fresh air to see something different.
However, now's the time for Much to put more focus on actual music-related programming. According to the "Much MTV Comedy Networks" (Worst. Name. Ever.), Much is now "the go-to channel for all things pop culture." So a perfect blend of mainstream music and topical comedy shows will help reflect that as well re-define itself from the MTV-copycat network they were before. Besides, if Bell Media thinks they can make MuchMusic focus on something other than music, they got another thing coming!

On the movie front, things are much more brighter. Each network has a defined genre that doesn't overlap with each other. Movietime shows contemporary films, Rewind shows old school films and The Cult Movie Network shows...well, take a guess. In my opinion, Action turned out better than the rest. They went from being a spin-off of Showcase to one of Canada's only male-oriented entertainment networks (the other being OLN).

The key to surviving channel drift is to forget the ratings, forget the demographics, and just do what you were supposed to do and expand on it. The only time when you should care about ratings is when no one is watching your channel; the only time when your supposed to care about demographics is when you forget who your original audience is. That's the lesson to learn from all this.

...But Seriously, they should have rebranded MTV2!

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