Buried in recent news has been the revelation that Universal Music has stopped supplying music videos to MTV and is to instead feature them on their own Vevo internet video platform.
There is a real dichotomy here: music videos were long seen as a promotional piece, a kind of advert, for the music. But that has, of course, changed. Also, MTV has very little to do with music any more. However, the exposure that the label will get from dropping such distribution in favour of building its own service shows that content owners have a clear choice.
They have to become wholesalers or they need to be retailers – being both at the same time is an increasingly difficult position to maintain.
Meanwhile, the $1bn dollar deal between Netflix and Epix (a Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate JV), along with a recent similar announcement from BSKyB with HBO in the UK, shows the stakes involved and why it is so difficult for any new entrant into this market to gain a foothold.