Music Choice On Demand On Rise

Time Warner Cable subscribers will soon be able to download via on-demand music videos from October's “artist of the month,” Beyoncé, and other performers because of a carriage deal between the cable provider and Music Choice last week.

Music Choice CEO David Del Beccaro said the deal will put the service, as well as its companion broadband-video offering, in front of 20 million households.

It also sets the stage for Music Choice's rollout of an on-demand service with more interactive features — such as the ability to program video playlists and other channels — that could debut sometime in 2007.

Music Choice On Demand will be added to Time Warner Cable's video-on-demand offering later this month in the cable operator's New York City, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Dallas systems, with additional rollouts to all of its markets in early 2007.

The network also has cable distribution deals with Comcast, Cox Communications, Bresnan Communications, Blue Ridge Communications, Armstrong Cable Services and Service Electric Cablevision.

Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Cox are among several equity owners in Music Choice. Others include Microsoft, Motorola, Sony Corp. of America and EMI Music.

“It's a big deal, because it completes our footprint — we're now in the top 25 markets and we'll be at 20 million homes by February,” Del Beccaro said of the Time Warner rollout. “With Time Warner, we expect our [video-on-demand usage] to increase by 50%. So it's a huge increase for us.”

Since its launch in 2004, Del Beccaro said Music Choice's video-on-demand service has generated more than 550 million orders.

Along with music-video programming, the network offers some 20 advertiser-supported original on-demand programs, including Certified, featuring a face-off between two of today's hottest artists; Tha Corner, a hip-hop lifestyle and music show; and Fresh Crops, which showcases emerging artists across music genres.

“Audio is our stable, breadwinner business, but our growth business and major emphasis is now on the video side,” Del Beccaro said.

The network also features a broadband-video component that offers all of its on-demand content — including music videos — as well as other interactive features to high-speed Internet consumers within Music Choice affiliated systems.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.