- 16 Jul 08
MUZU TV, an online video streaming service which allows bands and labels to share in advertising money, has officially gone live from its studios on South William St.
The website (muzu.tv) allows new music to be streamed online without copyright fears, while also unlocking hundreds of hours of archive material.
"We built this from scratch for the music industry," says MUZU's Ciaran Bollard. "Any person who owns music content can broadcast that music on the web."
Current MUZU artists range from local heroes to international megastars, as deals with major labels allow classic Bob Dylan and Phil Lynott footage to reside alongside videos from unsigned bands. A deal with Sony BMG has brought in 5,000 videos alone.
Bollard, along with co-founder Mark French, is keen to emphasise the benefits on offer to up-and-coming bands: they allow artists to film in their studios, even if they don't have a record deal.
"We can engage directly with the fan and not just the marketing department of the record labels," says Bollard. "It's not rocket science - we've tried to simplify it all."
The system, which splits advertising money 50/50 between the website and the rights owner, stands in contrast with the position of YouTube. The Google-owned website has been entangled in ongoing legal squabbles over its content - just one selling point, according to Bollard. "We offer a different experience to Youtube. The focus is on music".
One source of archive material has been ITN, where classic episodes of music programme The Tube have lain untouched for years. One such clip shows Paul Weller being interviewed by Jools Holland - in a bath. "A lot of this is rare and hasn't been seen before on the internet," says Bollard.
Also to be found are interviews from the files of Hot Press. "Music magazines own their own content - why not allow all this content to be seen by fans while generating revenue for everyone?", he asks.