Saturday, May 30, 2020

Weekend Diversion will return

I last published a Weekend Diversion post in August last year. They became much more difficult to do when the free to air music video channel I watched was taken off the air in July last year. I had to search out specific videos based on the NZ music chart, and that meant I seldom saw a video by accident. But now there’s been a twist in this story: The music video channel returned.

In February 2020, the company that owned it (and the radio station from which it gets its name) announced that the channel was returning, along with one playing “easy listening” music—usually music that’s often softer and, um, less challenging, but also including a lot of older hits of various kinds. The two channels were taking the place of channels the company ran that apparently “didn't find the audience it had hoped for relative to its cost base”. Okay, then. When the old music channel was axed, I wrote:
The Stuff article [about the axing] said the chief executive of the company that owns the radio station and the former music video channel (among many others) claimed that the move was “in line with audience trends, which show people primarily consume music videos online,” the article said. It then quoted him directly: "With the move to viewers consuming music videos online, it is a natural progression for [the former TV channel] to be available [only] via streaming." (edited to tell the real story and to avoid giving them any publicity; link was in the original post).
In announcing the relaunch, the CEO said, “We're a business that continues to refine, adapt and evolve our offerings to our viewers. We continue to try new approaches to deliver what people want." Uh huh. Okay, then—the audiences were moving to streaming only eight months earlier, and then BANG! They changed their minds and wanted the music video TV station again. Right…

The company that owns the TV channels and their related radio stations is up for sale, so a cynic might suggest that this was a cheap way of using (and keeping) the frequencies that a potential buyer of the business might want. Good thing I’m not cynical! Obviously New Zealanders completely changed their minds after a mere eight months without a TV music video channel. Obviously.

So: Here we are, then. For the time being, the free to air music video channel I used to watch is back, along with another, softer one. I noticed the change when I was channel surfing one night and saw “Hit Music Now” in the programme description for one of the channels, and “Take It Easy” for the other. I noticed that when it returned, the channel I used to watch the channel played a few songs (not necessarily new ones) in heavy rotation, including several I’d already shared on this blog. In recent weeks, there’s been more variety.

However, that wasn’t the first music channel to return to Freeview.

A music video channel called Juice TV retuned on Kordia-TV, a rentable channel of Kordia, which is the government-owned company that, among other things, runs the broadcasting of radio and TV in New Zealand. The channel had ended its run as a solo channel in 2015.

I have to admit that back in the day I seldom watched Juice TV because its focus was on non-mainstream music. That doesn’t mean I thought the music was bad, necessarily, or that I didn’t like any of it, necessarily, just that there was a lot that I didn’t like. That hadn’t changed when the channel started up again, but it may in the future. Stay tuned—so to speak.

All of which means I was glad to see the return of the music channel I used to watch, and I’ll again watch it from time to time, for however long it lasts (or have it on in the background for the music with fewer commercials than radio, something I only listen to in the car). This return means that my Weekend Diversion posts will return, too, starting tomorrow. They’ll continue to show up from time to time until—sometime or other, while the channel lasts. I guess you could say that I’ll continue to refine, adapt and evolve my offerings and try new approaches to deliver what people want.

Or, something like that.


rogerogreen said...

It was always a feature ye blog I enjoyed. I've been known to write a little about music meself.

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

You do? I'll have to check out those posts! (for anyone reading these comments, I know Roger writes such posts, he knows I know, I know that he knows that I know, and—so on).