Opinion: Why is MTV not spreading the Britney Spears VMA video far and wide?

Columns & Opinion

stu-col.jpgStuart Dredge writes…

Seen Britney’s shambolic performance at the MTV VMA awards yet? If not, and you’re outside the US, you’ll be hard-pressed to watch it. Why? Well, MTV has the footage on its website, but it says it’s “not accessible”, which I think is because I’m outside the US.

But it’s on YouTube, right? Wrong. It was, for a few hours on Monday, but MTV parent company Viacom’s lawyers were quick on the case to get it taken down from there, and any other video-sharing site where it was posted.

It’s frustrating, because you’d think MTV would be keen to have the video splashed all over the web, given that on Monday morning, Britney’s performance was THE celebrity story around the world.

It’s understandable on MTV’s part, on the grounds that a.) the company wants to drive traffic to its own website, and b.) there’s no way to make money out of a VMA video clip being shown elsewhere online. This will change soon though: broadcasters are realising that a better strategy is to spread your content far and wide.

britney-spears-vma-video.jpgHere’s what MTV should do in time for next year’s VMAs: get the technology in place to allow any visitor to their site to embed any VMA clip on their own blog, social networking profile or whatever. And then have ads or sponsorships or whatever within that video, to make money from it.

MTV should be fuelling this online water-cooler gossip, not trying to stymie it. It might raise problems – Britney’s management might not be too happy for example – but as a company spending significant money on the web, MTV should be able to ride out that storm.

Now, can someone direct me to a decent video of the Tommy Lee / Kid Rock scrap from the VMAs…

Stuart Dredge is editor-in-chief of Tech Digest. He still thinks ‘Gimme More’ is a genius comeback song.

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Stuart Dredge
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  • the answer is actually pretty simple. MTV’s deals with labels & publishers specifically bar them from making music videos (and performances) available outide the us. Blame MTV for many things, but not that one.

  • MTV is probably trying to distance itself as far as possible from this fiasco. They insisted on having her open the VMAs and it backfired on them. They’re attempting to save face after having a massive trainwreck for an opening performance.

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