Mix and Match

Music just wasn’t enough for Music Choice. The company recently launched a VOD-based video service with Comcast, which will roll out to every cable system that carries Music Choice by the end of 2006. Why was expansion in the cards? Music Choice President and CEO David Del Beccaro lays out the strategy.

Why launch a VOD music-video service when fans have MTV2 or Fuse?

From a programming perspective, MTV2 is better than MTV, which has become more of a lifestyle channel. But if you like music, you’re only going to like MTV2 some of the time. You can’t possibly like it 24/7. If you’re into metal, you won’t like rap; if you’re into rap, you won’t like metal. But we have an environment where even a relatively obscure music format can offer videos 24/7.

How does it work?

About 2,000-3,000 videos will reside on the VOD server and be updated frequently. We also developed an application that can interface with whatever VOD server a cable operator uses. As for viewers, they’ll pull up a display on their TV that will give access to the videos or allow them to create their own video channels. You can take a single format and get more specific. You can mix channels together.

But VOD hasn’t been a home run for operators. Why should this be different?

It works better for us because the short-form video content lends itself to VOD. Second, there just aren’t a lot of music videos accessible to the public. The record companies like this because it gives them a good way to get their videos out and gain revenue.

What revenue?

There’s a 15-second commercial that will run before each video. And for the first time, advertisers will get exact measurements. They can buy 2 million actual impressions, not just hoped impressions. We can tell if someone watched a commercial or fast-forwarded through it. Advertisers can buy into tight demos because we have 45 music channels. They can’t get that kind of demo delivery anywhere else on TV.