MTV enters the forgotten realm of music television (online)

Finally delivering in full the product which originally brought it to prominence, MTV Networks has opened MTV Music, a destination site for music videos, delivered in a fashion similar to YouTube.

MTV broke ground as the first channel dedicated strictly to airing music videos in the early '80s, and broke further ground as the first network to air reality television in the early '90s. It may be a little late to the party when it comes to social video, but the Viacom property purports to have more than 16,000 classic videos and exclusive MTV performance footage. By focusing the brand on that for which it's known best, MTV music stands to outpace YouTube in music video content.

Viacom has shunned YouTube since early 2007, when the company retracted its deal with Google and asked that all its video properties be removed from YouTube. Shortly thereafter, the media group announced it would make its content available through dedicated Web sites, and through social services such as Joost. The group then sued YouTube for $1 billion in a copyright infringement suit.

Some YouTube users responded by forming an anti-Viacom group that consisted mostly of uploading homemade videos deriding the media company and calling for a boycott of Viacom-owned content.

There is no denying that MTV has an immense library of videos to potentially host. But even though MTV Music aims to eventually contain all the content that Viacom has the legal right to display, YouTube has the advantage of hosting user-generated content for all the music (the unspeakably vast majority) that does not have an official video.

Van Halen's classic video for "Hot for Teacher" as seen on MTV Music, versus the band's cut "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" which has no official video, as it is found on YouTube.

The latter can scarcely be called a "music video" when weighed against the professionally produced 80's MTV classic, but serves as an illustration of the varied content one can find on YouTube.

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