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Universal Music Group Pulls Videos from MTV, Goes With Vevo

Universal Music Group Pulls Videos from MTV, Goes With Vevo (photo)

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Someone needs to perform an Inception on MTV, it’s been too long since they were the destination for music videos. The channel has been lost in a limbo, a reality show hell with no musical kick, no Edith Piaf to pull them back out and remind them what it was all about in the first place. Now, Universal Music Group has pulled their videos from them in favor of Vevo.

The news came just after newcomer Vevo scored big with the live webcast of an Arcade Fire show from Madison Square Garden, the one directed by Terry Gilliam late last week. The whole thing is a blow to MTV’s online content especially since UMG seems to represent most of the mega-acts that are omnipresent on the site — Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Eminem, Rihanna, Kanye, and the rest.

Wait, losing those artists is a bad thing, right? Not so fast. Universal Music Group explains in a telling statement about maximizing revenue:

“MTVN has been unwilling to negotiate a fair syndication deal with Vevo to carry our artists’ videos and consequently our videos will not be shown on their online properties. We believe that using Vevo as our online music video syndication platform is the best way to maximize revenue for our artists, our songwriters and ourselves, while bringing our videos to the widest possible audience. In less than eight months since its launch, Vevo has already become the Web’s #1 rated video network with over 49 million unique visitors monthly, dramatically eclipsing those on MTV’s online properties, while attracting scores of major advertisers and tens of millions in advertising dollars.”

That thing reads like a break-up letter between an online property and a music video syndication platform, written by a Terminator.

MTV responded in a statement [to Billboard] saying:

“We are disappointed by this move and sincerely hope that UMG will work with us toward a fair resolution and allow their artists to once again connect with the millions of music fans who visit, and every month.”

Maybe I’m old fashioned but I like my streaming media neatly archived all in one place, by artist. was a good spot for that and served well whenever I wanted to go on a TV On The Radio video binge — who by the way, are on Interscope which is part of the colossus known as Universal Music Group. Only their video for “Staring at the Sun” from their Touch and Go release remains now. Yes, of course I can find the rest of their videos on YouTube after sorting though a trillion “lol i maid this video hope u liek lol” versions, but no human being should be subjected to such a task (okay maybe an intern).

MTV will never be the channel it once was, but if can’t even serve as a library of music videos, good and bad, than something is wrong with the world. Chances are the issue will be resolved with a fair and equitable deal arranged in triplicate for all parties. I bet the artists want their art on as many platforms as possible, the better to see them. Until it’s resolved, you can watch Terry Gilliam and Arcade Fire on Vevo:

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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