Tuesday, March 23, 2004

TIME RUNNING OUT FOR INDIE VIDS ON MTV: The dispute which threatens to wipe indie videos off MTV's European networks looks like reaching a point of no return - MTV have described the cash being sought by the Association of Independent Music as "stupid" (i.e. they're reluctant to accept a hell of a lot less than they were getting before) and is seeking to divide and rule, suggesting that AIM and its VPL offshoot don't represent its member labels and trying to come to individual agreements with individual labels. If its attempts to encourage labels to break away from collective bargaining succeed, from next week we could see MTV2 and VH2 having to rely purely on videos from smaller companies who've broken ranks: like Sky Sports trying to mount programming with just Leicester City, Stockport, Grimsby and Gillingham. It's unlikely that MTV really want to set a precedent where it has to negotiate with every single label on a separate basis - having one industry-spanning umbrella organisation saves Viacom time and money, too; and they wouldn't want to set a precedent of separate deals that the majors might want to seize on. So, who's going to blink first? Our recommendation: if you want to be sure of seeing White Stripes videos in April, make sure you've got The Amp.

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