Music videos from some of the world’s biggest acts have been banned from appearing on any Foxtel-owned music channels for the past two weeks due to an ongoing programming dispute between Foxtel and world’s leading record label, Universal Music.
Justin Bieber, 5 Seconds of Summer and even our dear old Tay Tay are among dozens of chart toppers whose music is nowhere to be seen on Foxtel, throwing its chart programs into disarray.
Foxtel owns and operates five music channels: Channel [V], [V] Hits, CMC, Max and Smooth, while its Foxtel Tunes channel is a 50/50 joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment Australia and Universal Music Australia.
Speaking to B&T, a spokesperson for Foxtel said, “Foxtel has been in negotiations with Universal Music for some weeks to resolve a commercially viable agreement to continue to showcase Universal Music artists and music on our five music channels.
“Regrettably we have not resolved our commercial issues, which has forced us to pull all Universal acts from our contemporary music channels. Foxtel Arts and Foxtel’s audio streaming service Foxtel Tunes are unaffected.
“The Foxtel music channels can continue without Universal artists however, it is not our desired outcome.”
Foxtel’s flagship Channel [V] is under increasing pressure, with total audience figures down 28 per cent in the past six months compared to the same period last year, according to OzTAM. The growth in online video, along with Vevo and YouTube channels continues to put the spotlight on the traditional music television model.
Meanwhile, MTV Australia appears to be unaffected and is running its chart programs normally, with more than half of its Top 20 represented by Universal and EMI artists. But the real winner (for now at least) seems to be Sony Music, whose artists account for 75% of the most played songs on Foxtel in the past two weeks.