Music networks to celebrate roots on 4th
NEW YORK — MTV, VH1 and CMT are going back to their roots on the Fourth of July.
The networks said on Wednesday they will throw a “Music Independence Day” party that day, showing videos and giving exposure to artists at a time it can be hard for them to break through to a larger audience.
Each of the networks began as music video channels but shifted to other, more lucrative programming through the years.
Music programming is limited now — a wee hours dance party on MTV, the “Jump Start” morning show on VH1, a weekend Hot 20 on country-oriented CMT. Much of their music content is concentrated online or on digital channels like VH1 Classic.
“This harkens back to the core of these music brands,” said Van Toffler, head of the Viacom Networks.
MTV on July Fourth will have hours devoted to particular music genres, highlighting artists including Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
VH1 will show videos and performances from the likes of Alicia Keys, Pink and Maroon 5 and telecast a live concert that night from Philadelphia featuring The Roots and John Mayer.
CMT will offer a “barbecue playlist” of artists including the Avett Brothers, Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan.
The networks are offering emerging bands a chance to set up their own online pages on the Artist Platform and compete to have their videos shown on TV. Even if they don't make it on the air, it's good exposure and provides a gathering place for fans, Toffler said.
If a bluegrass band earns enough to buy a tour bus or a rap act purchases equipment because of the exposure, Toffler said he will consider it a success.
At a time it can be confusing for fans to seek out new music, the special event emphasizes the networks' ability to curate material for fans, he said.
“In part it is to remind people what an immersive experience we can provide so people can hear the music and the artists and the stories behind the artists,” he said.
There's not much for the networks to lose from such an event.
The first week of July is traditionally the lightest week of the year for television watching, primarily because so many people are outside or doing other things. The networks will offer themselves up as soundtracks for Fourth of July parties.
“It is a celebration, and we hope we can do it more often,” Toffler said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Boys in New York buried for hours in snow pile
- Sunlight reduces risk of nearsightedness in children, study suggests
- Ferguson-related unrest disrupts Black Friday shopping in several cities
- Homeless woman’s stun gun spurs 2nd Amendment case
- Bombers to train over Plains
- Maine State Prison draws Black Friday shoppers
- Texan who targeted Mexican consulate in Austin killed in shootout with police
- FBI uses journalists as bait for terrorists, escapee from Syrian group says
- Fissures begin to emerge among Dems
- Heart stent implanted, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg goes home
- Justices consider social media, free speech