So, for those of you who haven’t heard the news yet. The South African Music Video channel MK is going off air at the end of July and will be moving to an online only platform. Many people have seen this coming and there was not much surprise as most people agree that MK has lost it touch in the past couple of years. Seemingly run by people who lacked creativity and imagination, bombarding us with silly inserts and promo clips whilst simultaneously subjecting us to a bunch of second rate shows and presenters, the end was always in sight.
Spokespeople for MK have assured the SA music loving public that this move to an online platform would mean more. More shows, more content and of course the promise of a broader platform on which to showcase SA talent. This is of course, is a promise which is sure to come under much scrutiny, as it raises questions such as: Who has access to internet services capable of streaming live broadcasts? Who has the time to stream these broadcasts? Many people will be at work or travelling during the day. Will you want to go through the rigmaroll of streaming this at home? These are just some of my questions and I’m certain that there are many more. My question is, what will ensure that MK rises to the task and delivers on the promises that it has made to us as the public? The answer is : Competition.
Enter Alterna TV, which announced it’s entrance to the online broadcasting market on Friday last week. They claim to offer a channel with relevant content not just on the music front, but also up to date reviews on technology and lifestyle among other things. I heard a rumor that they were vying for MK’s slot on DSTV but that the broadcaster had decided to stick to it’s decision to cut that type of channel from it’s service. Check out the the Alterna TV promo below
What does this mean for us as consumers? It means that both these channels will be competing for the same audience on the same platform. Which in turn means that us as consumer will be the winner. Both these channels will have to push the boundaries in their marketing, presentation, presenters and content. They will have to make us want to watch and this means the days of just accepting what is shown to us is over. No longer will we be forced to watch substandard videos produced by silly kids who think they are musicians. We will have a say. But it is a say that we must use. The internet has always been a place where individuals express their views more openly and without fear of judgement. We as consumers must continue to do so. Otherwise we will just get stuck in the same rut as the one MK put us in.
The days of record labels, radio stations and TV channels dictating to us what we have to listen to are over. Most labels are dead or dying and the internet is the platform where we can make a stand. So if we don’t dictate what we want to hear then we can’t complain about what we get. We can all agree that South Africa has had many events that have suffered a lack of appreciation from both local and international audiences due to the monopolies broadcasters and content providers have had in the past. This is done. We can show our voice to the world and we have.
I’m pretty sure that many of you reading this post have opinions about this topic, so feel free to comment on this post and let me know what you think. Also have read this take on the whole MK thing if you want to.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Music and Opinion categories on Running Wolf’s Rant
Band Booking Agent, Tour Manager / Roadside Philosopher & Free Thinker.