Businessweek Archives

Tube Music Network And The New TV


? Red Hat and the $100 laptop |

Main

| WiMax... For The Home?! ?

January 31, 2006

Tube Music Network And The New TV

Olga Kharif

Yesterday, I talked with Les Garland, co-founder of popular music channels MTV and VH1. Last year, he launched a new venture, called The Tube Music Network, a music channel only accessible to people with digital TV tuners (currently, less than 1% of Americans have those, but their numbers are growing rapidly). These are people with TV sets with digital tuners, or users who subscribe to digital tier on cable or to DirecTV.

The Tube could be the forerunner of a major revolution happening in television. The channel is taking advantage of TV's transition from analog to digital format. As this transition happens, every TV broadcaster will be able to transmit more than one channel. In other words, each broadcasting station will be able to transmit new channels. And Garland's is the first of a growing crop of such new channels that could do to traditional TV what FM did to AM radio.

Today, digital TV is practically the only way of getting a new channel out. Garland says that cable companies already have around 40 new channels on stand-by, waiting to be added into the line-up. Ditto for satellite companies. The only door that's still open to new channel creators is this still tiny digital TV space. And, already, new entrants are streaming in. Since the Tube launched six months ago, NBC began transmitting a digital weather channel. And CBS recently announced a new channel plan.

As more new channels pop up, Garland says we could see something akin to the birth of FM radio. First, there was just AM radio. Then, FM radio sprang up and took most of AM's listeners away.

This might not be too far-fetched, judging by The Tube's success. In the next two to three weeks, The Tube, currently reaching 7 million people in smaller markets, will announce an agreement with a major broadcaster and enter major U.S. markets. In 90 days, it could potentially be reaching 20 million people, says Garland. The channel, funded by Garland's friends and family, could turn profitable in 18 months, he says.

Apparently, the company is already in talks with advertisers like GM and Motorola. And its nifty business model could appeal to record companies and concert tour organizers.

The plan: The channel, which only runs music videos (everyone from Elvis to The Eagles) and caters to the 35+ crowd (in particular Baby Boomers), only plays commercials for six minutes an hour. It will get most of its revenue from selling DVDs, CDs, T-shirts and concert tickets related to the music and the artists shown on the channel, through its Web site.

That's clearly a very different approach to traditional TV. But then, Garland has a track record of successful ventures. And many viewers - myself included -- are sick of the endless commercials and reality shows on TV.

Who knows, digital TV might yet become the new FM in a few years.

10:48 AM

TV

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://blogs.businessweek.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/

the tube network on comcast is GREAT keep up the great videos, blows away all other music channels, all the best videos and no bull talk or reality stuff, ill keep watching. great videos that i never see anywhere else

Posted by: tom kelly at August 23, 2006 12:58 PM

We just discovered this channel last night. It is awesome. What a music channel should be! It plays music, how novel. We love it. We watched for 2 hours straight just to see what would be next.

Posted by: Heather at August 26, 2006 12:29 PM

this is the best channel ever. its what mtv and vh1 should be.

Posted by: lisa holmes at August 27, 2006 01:28 PM

Just discovered the tube today ...went directly to my favorites...bout time music was played again on a station that was formatted for music ,,,and only music...Keep it up

Posted by: J at August 27, 2006 05:54 PM

I found the Tube last week and am addicted. Just watch Clapton perform I Shot the Sheriff live and it was just awesome! The mix of music is perfect - let's hope they don't screw this treasure up!

Posted by: Alex at September 2, 2006 09:04 AM

This channel is the best. I just found out about it today and I'm in love. All music videos and nothing else. No talking, no stupid reality shows just all music and a great mix..I'm in love. Can't get any better then this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please don't change!!!!! LOVE THIS!!!!

Posted by: Marianne at September 4, 2006 01:20 PM

I agree with trhe previous posts. MTV started out with music and evolved into reality show central. We have enough of that. The Tube doesn't just show 'music videos', I love the live ones so keep up the great programming!

Posted by: Johnny at September 4, 2006 02:07 PM

I can't believe that the channel I watch the most is a music video channel! The live clips are money!

Posted by: Greg at September 5, 2006 01:33 AM

Just discovered Tube TV Network while surfing the HD channels on Cable. This is great stuff!

Thank you

Posted by: Les Jinks at September 10, 2006 07:31 PM

Just got my HDTV with digital tuner. Heard analog TV was on the way out in a couple of years. After setup,found stations are already broadcasting in digital and found The Tube. I love it. Lots of great videos the so-called major music channels won't play. Even when not watching,I have it on like listening to a radio.

Posted by: Robert Mullins at September 11, 2006 04:00 AM

Just found The Tube on 2.2 DT channel in Denver CO. Great video and true Dolby Digital sound. Definitely a decent run of video favorites. I'm slightly concerned that it'll get a bit repetitive after watching on & off for several days though. I already saw one video played at least 3 times over the weeekend. Still, Very watchable.

Posted by: Mark at September 11, 2006 12:43 PM

Good job the Tube is great

Posted by: Dave Hamlin at September 12, 2006 01:45 PM

I am 59 yrs old I think the tube is great.I wish the words were on the screen.I love no advertising. I think the videos are great.Keep up the good thinking.

Posted by: steven torba at September 12, 2006 02:10 PM

UNBEILEVABLE!!! I found this station any now my TV is ALWAYS tuned to it....It reminds me of what MTV started out to be. The videos are the best ever. I love all the live performances. PLEASE don't change a thing.

Posted by: Eric Anderson at September 12, 2006 09:27 PM

Simply Awesome. The Tube impresses me the same way MTV did 25yrs ago. I will keep on watching until someone screws it up like MTV!!!!

Posted by: Bob at September 13, 2006 06:51 PM

This channel is awesome. I turned it on and saw Pink Floyd, then Weezer, and then old No Doubt. Don't turn into MTV.

Posted by: James at September 14, 2006 12:18 PM

Stumbled upon The Tube today. Great videos / footage I have never seen before. Great Vibe, I'm hooked already!

Posted by: Gary at September 16, 2006 09:59 PM

AMAZING !!! I FOUND THIS STATION 1 WEEK AGO, AND I LOVE IT . THE MUSIC IS INCREDIBLE PLEASE DONT CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT THIS STATION IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.

Posted by: CLAUDIA at September 17, 2006 07:30 AM

we got the tube by accident when our cable company was adding a new station and deleting an old one. boy, the tube was the greatest music station i've seen in a long time. i agree with everyone who has commented on the tube, it sure is a great station to watch.i had the tube on the whole time we were getting the station, was very unhappy when it went off the air. wish we could get the tube again in sullivan mo.

Posted by: frances at September 17, 2006 10:39 AM

What a great channel. Saw it on Cablevision while surfing. I saw in about one hour Duran Duran, Stevie Knicks, REM and more and they kept playing. It was wonderful!

Please do not change add some Dave Mathews and LIVE and this channel will take over all else.

Posted by: Barb at September 18, 2006 12:44 PM

The tube is what video music should be!! Back to the basics is a good thing!! Split up the genre and I'll subscribe to them all!!!! Keep it it comming!!!

Posted by: John at September 19, 2006 01:08 AM

Hey! You folks rock! Just great music! How long can you keep this up before greed enters the picture...I hope it never gets to that point! My only wish is that you had a bit more R&B/Soul and just a bit of jazz?...Please!? :) I just love it my lady and I fell asleep to what music TV is supossed to be about...FUN!

Posted by: SC2 at September 19, 2006 04:33 PM

Simply awesome!

Posted by: steven at September 22, 2006 09:34 AM

I love it! It is so upbeat and refreshing. When I am getting ready to go out I have it on. I love the 80's music and the honesty of the music and videos portrayed. In the world today, we need something honest to escape to!

Posted by: megan at September 22, 2006 09:37 AM

put it on DISH please i have no cable i own the stock hoping it goes well the symbol is TUBM on the bulletin boards

Posted by: RR at September 27, 2006 05:19 PM

What Fun " For A Week"!

If these people were so in the moment, call the Record companies and have them send you some videos, repeat after repeat is this network! Listen to your Ipod and Wallpaper this one!

Posted by: Jerry Powers at September 29, 2006 09:48 PM

I just stumbled on this station and couldn't believe my ears -- it rocks! You can spend hours vegging out watching it. Great stuff.

Posted by: WFT at September 30, 2006 04:22 PM

Finally, a music channel that plays great music!!

Posted by: Joanne at September 30, 2006 07:27 PM

just found "The Tube" while searching for off the air digital stations, incredible. It reminds me of the good ole days. again, incredible. keep it going.

Posted by: jeff johnson at October 1, 2006 08:32 PM

OK A REAL MUSIC STATION. I LOVE YOUR NETWORK I JUST FOUND IT CHANNEL SUFFERING.PLEASE DONT STOP I NEW FAN FOR LIFE THANKS....

Posted by: tom kirby at October 4, 2006 11:26 AM

I used to watch MTV back in the 80's when they played good videos. Now we get crap like Pimp My Ride and Real World. When they do finally play a video, it's probably rap. So, no more MTV for me. Now I found The Tube and it's great. Watched it for hours last night during dinner. It's now a favorite.

Posted by: Jimbo W. at October 9, 2006 07:25 PM

How excellent. Where have you been all my life. I love you. Keep rocking.........

Posted by: Les Beddoes at October 13, 2006 07:45 PM

Maybe a stupid question: Does the tv have to be less than a year old to run this program or can a cable-ready TV adapt?

Posted by: Tea at October 15, 2006 01:59 AM

I love the 1960's and 70's music videos, and the NO COMMERICAL format! thank you Mr. Garland!

Posted by: billy d at October 15, 2006 03:32 PM

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I CAN NOT GET OVER THE FACT THAT THERE IS FINALLY A MUSIC CHANNEL FOR ME !!!!!YOU GET IT. I HAVE NOT ENJOYED A MUSIC CHANNEL LIKE THIS IN 25 YEARS. I HAVE SEEN SOME GREAT STUFF.PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE A THING AND PLEASE KEEP THINKING OF THE BABY BOOMERS !!!!!!!!!WE HAD THE VERY BEST MUSIC THERE WAS!!!!

Posted by: peggy myers at October 15, 2006 09:03 PM

Your station aggravates the hell out of me. A great song will come on and it will just cut out half of the music. None of the other music stations have this problem! What's the deal?

Posted by: Jessie at October 16, 2006 10:04 AM

IWAS TIRED OF MTV FIRST,THEN A WAS BORING WITH VHI,,NOW I DISCOVER THE TUBE....BEST VIDEOS EVER MY SOUL IS FULL AGAIN....LOVE YOU VERY MUCH MY TUBE....THAKS A LOT

Posted by: EDES AGBALOG at October 16, 2006 09:54 PM

Tube videos are the best, you can watch the artists perform without all the flashing of images and the music is great, keep up the good work

Posted by: Les Higgins at October 17, 2006 07:53 PM

Love it!! Finally back to basics-MUSIC! I hope this lives on.... Eagles to Prince to Cranberries! I haven't been this happy in years!! Thanks!

Posted by: Laura at October 22, 2006 04:32 AM

It's about time we got a station that provides such a wide variety of artists and music. I Love this station!!!!! So glad I found it...Keep on Rockin"

Posted by: Cathy R at October 25, 2006 03:34 PM

Great station. Everybody loves it but wants to add a little of their own favorite music. I say leave it as is. OK maybe a little Ramones or motley Crue wouldn't hurt. Keep it up!

Posted by: Boz at October 25, 2006 08:02 PM

Finally a channel that means what is says, MUSIC VIDEOS !

Tired of watching boring teens in buses and fake houses on

MTV & VH1 waiting for real music videos, I stumbled across THETUBE. Couldn't stop watching thinking wow no gansta rap crap or stupid "Real world" scenarios. Just plain music videos from the best era of music!

Thanks THETUBE and you better not change the format!

Posted by: Noel at October 28, 2006 12:06 AM

The Tube is awesome. Its what MTV used to be. Now Mtv is crap. Vh1 is heading down that road too. I watch The Tube every chance I get. This Channel, I dare say, is even better than the radio!

Posted by: Dan at November 3, 2006 09:06 AM

Like most of the comments, I find this station very much like the early MTV days as well.

The variety of music videos is like no other station that I've ever watched, and that includes MTV, VH1, VH1-Classics and all the other music video immitators.

Showing the name of the song, artist, album and record label at the very beginning in a separate screen is an innovative idea, and then showing the song title and artist several more times DURING the video is a great idea, especially if you tune in during the middle of a video that you're not familiar with.

But what's with the one-to-second "dead spots" in the videos, where there is no music (but the video keeps playing)? I really didn't pay much attention to this at first, but now I wait and listen for that one second of dead air - very irritating (is it so no one can tape the audio portion?)

Also, how does this station plan to stay on the air with only 6 minutes of commercials in the advertising-driven world of television?

Mark in Cape Cod

Posted by: Mark at November 10, 2006 08:02 PM

Just found the tube when channel surfing. Mr garland has just reinvented the Rubik cube

Posted by: Rubey at November 10, 2006 11:24 PM

I like the videos on Tube but why don't they fix the sound drop offs. Sometimes it's four or five times in a video.

Posted by: Tom at November 11, 2006 03:43 PM

We are hooked & loving it! We watch every day. Now the "Tower Records" store in our neighbourhood is closing down we will be going to "TubeTV" to purchase our music. The sound drop-outs that some commenters complain of may be due to interference in the HD broadcast signal during transmission.

Posted by: Adrian & Janet at November 13, 2006 03:55 AM

I'm 65 and this is the first music channel I've found that I liked. Plays great music - I've already bought CDs as a result of what I've seen. We have no radio stations in MD that even play this type of music - so I listen to news stations or play CDs in the car.

Don't change anything - it is wonderful and perfect JUST THE WAY IT IS!

And -- THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Posted by: Allene at November 16, 2006 08:22 AM

When is TUBE coming to Albany NY on Time Warner Digital Cable?

Posted by: M at November 18, 2006 05:57 PM

how do i order this music channel?

Posted by: mar09 at November 22, 2006 10:03 PM

My husband found "Tube TV" by scanning the channels one Saturday night he told me about it and we've been addicted ever since. I love TV again! Please keep on doing what you're doing.....THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!

Val Meza

Whittier, CA

Posted by: Valerie Meza at November 25, 2006 01:06 AM

I love this channel! It's exactly what I've been looking for. Thank you Tube!

Posted by: Jen Bruggman at November 30, 2006 04:37 PM

Thanks. Finally a music channel that only plays music. My husband & I find ourselves tuning in and enjoying the videos. One thing we suggest is putting what year the video/song was released.

Posted by: Valerie Bysczynski at November 30, 2006 05:58 PM

so I fire up my HD set and I stumble thru my new channels when I run into 5-5, here in L.A.

You would think that Los Angeles with it's vast record companies would have great radio stations, WRONG!! I had to buy Satellite Radio, thanks Sirius for my radio fix! Now I have life again. As an 80's child, I was glued to MTV, which is worthless today, SAD. The Tube is probably one man's memory of the past and great at that. Maybe we will get lucky and we can get different formats as I would definitely Subscribe to that.

....... I bet many others would as well. Let's send a message! Where is my bumber sticker??

"MTV step aside, The Tube has conquered!!

Garland, you rock!!

BIG Thanks.

Andy B., just a bit happier in the O.C.

Posted by: Andy Benun at December 5, 2006 12:39 AM

I recently acquired a tv with a HDTV tuner so i went out and got a HDTV capable antenna. After setting it up i did a channel scan, some good programming but when i clicked onto your station i was amazed. Could this be true ? A over the air broadcast channel that plays music videos ? I watched for hours, only occionanaly changing channels to check the weather. After 6 continous hours of video watching, I crashed in my tv watching chair. However when i awoke the following afternoon i discovered the channel was still being broadcast but no video's were being played. What is this ? Is this dead air over a HD network? Where would I find programming information? When will the videos return? Please help because Ive become addicted and cannot seem to watch anything else for more than a few min before switching back to your channel to see if its playing videos again. HELP ! ! !

Posted by: Russell T. at December 6, 2006 08:51 AM

I was surfing along my TV..when I found the Tube

How great to watch music again!!!!And to see videos and footage..perfect for my Generation!

Posted by: Gloria B at December 10, 2006 07:36 PM

Found TheTube playing on Bell Express VU here in Canada....wow..I have never watched two hours of music on tv in my life...this is great. Good Mix of old and new music. I want to subscribe..where do I sign up? Canada needs this....

Posted by: Joanne Rio at December 13, 2006 11:20 PM

Just discovered this wonderful channel. I keep thinking that OK I can turn to another channel after the next video..no, the next one... the next one...next one...

Posted by: Linda at December 16, 2006 11:40 PM

These people really know their music. I just discovered The Tube a few weeks ago and was amazed at the quality of music they played. They ensure that every song they play meets a fairly high standard in musicality (unlike all the sh*t they play on the MTV substations), and every song I've heard on the station, regardless of my genre preference at the time, has been very much appreciable. Their cutaways and promos actually frustrate me somwhat because the music they make for them is, in my opinion, very much worth paying for, until I realize that I'm only watching a promo.

I think this station is darn near perfect, and although I may not be 35+ (I'm actually 17), I am very impressed with The Tube's musical proficiency.

Posted by: Trey at December 27, 2006 11:31 PM

Like everyone else, I found The Tube broadcasting over the air when I got a digital HD tuner. At first, I thought the station was great and I watched it continuously. But pretty soon I found out it is playing the same 12-hour block of videos in the same order over and over again. I've seen the same videos four times in the last two days! When do they change the playlist? There are thousands of videos out there, I'm disappointed that this station can only program 12 hours of material at a time.

Posted by: Dan at January 2, 2007 12:31 AM

MY HUSBAND WAS SURFING THRU THE CHANNELS ONE DAY AND HE DISCOVERED THE TUBE,IT IS GREAT,IT REMINDS ME OF WHEN MTV FIRST CAME OUT AND THERE WAS SUCH GREAT MUSIC,NOW WE DONT EVEN WATCH THAT OR VH1 ANYMORE,ITS JUST MUSIC NEW AND OLD AND NO OTHER CRAP.PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE IT EVER,IT IS AWESOME AND WE LOVE IT SO MUCH,WE HAVE TOLD EVERYONE ABOUT IT AND THEY LOVE IT TO,DONT CHANGE JUST KEEP ON PLAYING ALL OF THAT GREAT MUSIC NEW AND OLD.AWESOME.....................

Posted by: LORI at January 2, 2007 04:35 PM

I just discovered that the Tube has been removed from my channel lineup. I can't figure out where it has gone! Does anyone have any news on this? Did the network go out of business?

Posted by: Heather at January 9, 2007 11:24 PM

Did anyone find out why The Tube was removed? I am in NC. I haven't seen it since the turn of the year. Something I truly love has gone away. boo-hoo! Someone please tell me what happened to it. E-mail me DustyRuff@webtv.net

Posted by: Gary Proctor at January 10, 2007 10:07 AM

Where did it go?

Posted by: Stewart at January 11, 2007 10:57 AM

WE JUST DISCOVERED THE TUBE OR SHOULD WE SAY OUR TUBE. MTV,VH1 WHO ARE THESE GUYS WE CAN'T BELIEVE YOUR CHANNEL THE MUSIC VIDEOS ARE GREAT AND WE LOVE THE NO COMMERCIALS PLEASE KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. A+A+A+A+A+A+A+

Posted by: Susan & Michael at January 13, 2007 12:54 AM

We discovered the Tube yesterday and were instantly addicted. The mix of old and new and live concerts is perfect. As two "BABY BOOMERS," we thank you for thinking of us. We also would like to see some dates with the videos. Other than that, don't change a thing!

Posted by: Sharon & Geo at January 15, 2007 11:25 AM

Hi, I found this article too...Interesting

http://www.isnare.com/?aid=117271&ca=Entertainment

A Kind Of Music Tube ?

Posted by: WATCHitPLAYit.com at January 15, 2007 03:18 PM

do me a small favor

Just a small one, MTV used to be like this until they started throwing all that reality show crap in there, please don't do that to tube, it's great just as it is leave it alone!!!!!

Posted by: Larry Ingram at January 17, 2007 04:20 PM

For the past 4 months, we have had the Tube Channel on channel 3(WEAR) which is our local station. We have Direct TV Sattelite. Just recently we stopped getting the Tube. Why?? Who do we call??? Please help as this is the best channel for music the wife and I have seen. Please help a stranded customer in Northwest Florida!!! Chuck Pohlmann

Posted by: Chuck Pohlmann at January 22, 2007 04:51 PM

what's this greatest hits of the 1980s stuff? vh1 for geriatrics i guess...

Posted by: slangist at January 22, 2007 07:50 PM

Could someone tell me what happened to Minneapolis' Tube Network?

Posted by: Kylet at January 24, 2007 01:25 AM

when MTV first came out,it was all music,and now it really sucks bad,there is just too much doody.please don't change the format of the tube.if people want to see that crap they call hip hop,or rap,then let them watch it on another channel,don't change this one,it is great just the way it is.when something works fine,you don't change it.the tube is the best music channel ever in the history of television.

thank you

Posted by: mike amchin at January 24, 2007 01:49 AM

I found the TUBE in San Diego and all I can say is Ya'll ROCK!!! You're everything MTV and VH1 ain't, but used to be....Please don't change a thing....Thank you Mr. Garland

A Happy, Smiling Baby Boomer

Posted by: Gerry Smith at March 21, 2007 12:44 PM


Too Cool for Crisis Management
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus