Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

MTV: Just Ignore That Nice New Video Site We Rolled Out Yesterday

I’ve just heard back from the folks at, who’ve explained what they’re up to with MTV Music, the nifty video archive site they quietly rolled out yesterday.

The answer: They really haven’t rolled out the site. And, in fact, they don’t ever really plan to do so–it’s not really supposed to be something that regular Web surfers are meant to use.

Confused? So am I: After all, MTV Music has a nice, clean design, lots and lots of easy-to-access archival clips (MediaMemo just lost 30 minutes digging through the De La Soul collection).

So why build that unless you wanted everyone to see it? spokesman Tom Biro tried to explain, and if I understand him correctly, the site is supposed to be used as a sort of white-label archive that can be used both by MTV Networks, owned by Viacom (VIA), to build other video sites, as well as outsiders, both professionals and amateurs.

MediaMemo, for instance, might want to build its own De La Soul fan site, and could grab all the clips needed from the MTV site.

That also explains why the site has such a nice clean, look: There aren’t any ads there, because MTV isn’t selling it as a destination site.

Presumably, though, MTV will one day find a way to insert advertising into the clips, so visitors to my De La Soul site will generate some revenue for the network.

In the meantime, you can see this golden oldie, which I remember from, um, high school, without having to view a single ad.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work