You bypass iTunes for Beatport to get the latest EDM tracks, so why settle for YouTube for music videos? Online music channels, either through YouTube, another platform, or existing on their own, have a growing presence on the internet, but when it comes to replicating that old MTV (or VH1) experience of watching videos, tuning into live performances, or catching an interview, how well do these channels capture it?
One of the more prominent players, UltraTV, a YouTube-based channel, promises to give an insider’s view into the lifestyle and culture of Ultra Music through events, interviews, and behind the footage. So, how well does it do?
Given that Ultra Music symbolizes mainstream EDM, its video offerings stay within this mold. UltraTV, as well, captures the latest performances in high quality. Video quality is what you’d expect from a name like Ultra, but only with a couple of exceptions, its videos are rather short, as if the record label is preparing to later give a longer preview but simply doesn’t deliver.
Following a similar format as UltraTV, TomorrowlandTV is equally slickly styled and mainstream and is through YouTube. Aside from the similarities, however, TomorrowlandTV broadcasts far longer performances. The downside is, however, it simply offers footage from the annual festival.
Livestream’s EDM channels, including EDM Online TV, Jacks House TV and Radio, LiveGrooves, and The HypeNation, is everything UltraTV and TomorrowlandTV are not: very DIY and very low budget. The pluses? Sets are often an hour or longer and feature exclusively independent music. The downside? Channels are not always on the air, and the camerawork gives a single view. However, if you want to catch a promising bedroom DJ, Livestream is the perfect place to do so.
Considering its name, you’d think EDM.tv would be a heavy-hitter in the field. No so, unfortunately. Features, such as channel and video options, do not always work, and many videos are neither available nor are actual videos – think of the YouTube picture video for an album track. The live videos EDM.tv does offer are high quality, but their scarceness isn’t worth rummaging through a poorly-maintained website.
Who says indie has to be bargain basement? UGroove.tv brings together the stylized, professional look of UltraTV and TomorrowlandTV with less standard fare from around the world. UGroove.tv is a relative newcomer, and its channels now only have a handful of videos, but its dominant offering, UGTV, captures performances from all over the world. The website claims it “capture[s] the atmosphere, moments, and memories” of underground music, and it certainly lives up to its mission.
“Be At” or “beat”? Although the former is the correct way of pronouncing this online music channel, Be-At.tv offers high-quality music and video footage with a moderately confusing format. Side menus take you to session performances – most around an hour long – from all parts of the world, and instead of the frenetic music video approach, cameras linger enough on the DJ to capture his technique.
Sometimes, basic is just better. DanceTrippin.tv, which offers extensive footage of EDM performances from all over the world, takes this approach. Professional enough to be watchable but not spliced so closely to resemble a music video, DanceTrippin.tv gets as close to the television format as possible – no channels, no chat features, just pure, quality live EDM.