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MTV Promises To Be About Music For An Entire Half Of A Day

Very excited child who does not work for MTV. He's just as surprised as the rest of us. (Probably.)
Very excited child who does not work for MTV. He's just as surprised as the rest of us. (Probably.)

Well, this is news.

MTV, VH1, and CMT sent out a press release this morning announcing that on July 4th, which they're calling "Music Independence Day" (!) (!!), they will "dedicate their channels exclusively to music."

ALL DAY LONG. If by "all day long," you mean "from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern and Pacific." (Hey, what's a day, right? 12 hours, 24 hours, these are semantics.)

You might think that MTV, VH1, and CMT would not need a special declaration to devote a 12-hour block to music, but you would be wrong. IT'S MUSIC INDEPENDENCE DAY, WOOOOO! The way for artists to get in on it, it turns out, is to sign up on the Artist Platform. You might think the Artist Platform would be where a band is raised above a screaming crowd to fight Labelzilla, but in fact, the Artist Platform is an MTV/VH1/CMT portal for artists to have their own pages, sell stuff to fans, and even get a chunk of the ad revenue. And some early returns suggest that it's doing at least some good for some bands.

So all you have to do to get in on this whole 12-continuous-whole-entire-hours-of-music extravaganza is sign your band up with MTV's effort to become the new online social home of bands and artists. (At the time Artist Platform was announced in August 2012, they explicitly stated it was meant to replace the success MySpace had for a long time in providing social support for musicians.) In return, people will be able to communicate with your band online (where else can they do that, after all?) or leave you a "tip."

They'll spend those 12 hours introducing folks to the bands from Artist Portal who are lucky enough to make the cut, as well as serving up plenty of existing superstars, both through their own music and through other artists they love.

The level of irony in calling it "Music Independence Day" when you're supposed to get to your fans through the gritty upstart known as Viacom is rather breathtaking, but hey – if you've been complaining that MTV isn't about music anymore, you're about to get your way for 12 continuous, delicious, synergy-creating hours.

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Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.
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