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That's the thing about youth today, there is massive segregation when it comes to friendship groups and the music that they listen to, so what is best for these music channels to show so that they don't lose out on audiance ratings due to alienating one certain type of viewer? Well show everything seems to be the idea done by most channels, including well known ones such as MTV and The Box. B4 runs along the same lines as both those channels, but does 357 (an easy diagonal to press in for us Sky Digital customers) have the same recipe for success?
B4's premise is simple, it is to show music before any other channel, and we all know that one of the key things about being cool when you're younger is knowing the new music before anyone else. The problem I see with this is that most music on the channel comes over from America anyway, and now with the internet and more precisely YouTube, it is easier for people to access this new music and the accompanying videos on the internet before any music channel can even possibly get the rights to it. So chances are you may put on B4 and it won't really be showing a new music video that you can't watch on any other channel, it will probably be playing a song that you heard months ago on iTunes or something like that.
And that's the changing music world for you. I remember when I first got Sky and came home one day to watch my brothers watching music, this was the first I had ever heard of music videos (I was very young at the time) and it's true that music channels do become addictive, probably due to the fact that you don't have to pay any real attention - and we are a lazy society. Not to mention the first music video I ever saw being Britney Spears running around dressed up as a school girl, that's enough to get anyone addicted to music channels for life! One problem with music channels is that they don't really have television listings, and you never know what you're going to get with them, as they do now and again try and put on something special. B4 are no different, and right now if you put on B4 as I speak you can watch 'B4 Hits'. It's not a real programme, there's no host, it's just a name to click up on the screen before you press back up to watch the video. Following 'B4 Hits' will be 'Double Up', which I can only presume means they shall be showing two videos in a row by the same artist as many other music channels do and have very similar names for their programme.
Whilst there are channels out there that specialise in just one type of music, such as KISS and Kerrang, B4 is one of those that will play literally every song out there. And that annoys me. That brings about the whole channel hopping thing, and the difficulty to actually find a song that you like. It also means that B4 isn't really a channel you can leave on and listen to a long time, because you mind end up getting Eminem followed by My Chemical Romance, followed by Take That. I think the big question is though, how does B4 fare on the field that it boasts itself for - the before anyone else music videos.
Every Friday B4 have a programme on the hour every hour for about 20 minutes, where they show the 'freshest videos around', although they don't always show every video they have new in this 20 minute slot and they mess around with the order so you don't know what you're going to get. On some occassions they do show you the video for the first time on TV, although if you flick around later in the day chances are you will find it somewhere else as well. On other occassions they will show you a video that you probably saw on another channel about a week back. Now that's no good!
From dance to rap to rock, B4 does really show pretty much everything, and it's just a shame that the channel can't get those videos before everyone else and really decide what time of music it wants to dedicate it to - except the popular stuff in general. Does B4 get tired of the old videos before anyone else? Well yes, they probably do get rid of the old videos from their playlists before most channels, but I'm putting a bet on that when another hugely popular song like Umbrella comes along they won't be getting rid of it from the playlist in a hurry because the channel runs off people phoning in and requesting videos through three digit codes, and no music channel could decide to turn their back on that sort of money. At least this channel gives you an option of something to flick to when a channel you prefer is on commercials, just hopefully both channels won't take their adverts at the same time when you do this, or even worse you might have to watch an advert for a tedious B4 competition that you really don't care about.
B4U (Bollywood For You) is probably the most well-known Bollywood channel broadcasting in the UK. The channel broadcasts Bollywood movies (both old and new) as well as music shows and gossipy TV programmes by the truckload. It?s rather loud and colourful and, dare I say it, a bit tacky (in a good way!). A subscription is probably essential if you are a Bollywood fan as you get the opportunity to see plenty of award shows and interviews with your favourite stars. B4U music is included in the price and I actually prefer it to B4U movies. It?s great to see all the new music videos, although I usually end up shelling out money on lots of CDs after watching B4U. When I subscribed to B4U Sony Asia was included in the price, but don?t think this offer is applicable at the moment. I pay about £160.00 a year for my subscription, but you can also pay monthly. I think the the subscription is reasonably priced as they do show lots of new films. In my opinion there are only two things about B4U which annoy the hell out of me. The first is the VJs. I don?t know where they find these people who regularly make an utter fool of themselves on my TV screen. The men all seem to think they are great comedians and just sit there laughing at their own lame jokes. The women aren?t much better and seem to have spent more time worrying about their lip gloss than what they are going to say. B4U recently held a talent competition to find some new presenters and I sincerely hope the winners will raise the collective IQ at B4U headquarters. The other thing which really, REALLY annoys me is the fact that movies are shown without English subtitles. I find this very frustrating as a non-Asian viewer (my attempts to learn Hindi confirmed my GCSE German teacher?s opinion that I am the most inept language student ever). I know I am not the only person annoyed by B4U?s oversight. My Bollywood-obsessed friends include other non-Asians, Asians who don?t speak Hindi and Asians
whose terrible Hindi leaves their parents shaking their heads in despair. B4U has no excuse as many of the films they show were originally released with English subtitles. If you want to find out more about B4U you can visit ww.b4utv.com (you can also read the latest gossip and downloads wallpapers etc.) I have also found the staff at B4U very helpful when I have had need to ?phone them.