From the early 80s through the early 2000s, if you didn’t watch MuchMusic, you were pretty much a social outcast. Teens begged their parents to subscribe to the channel. Then they’d watch endless marathons of music countdowns and music shows like Electric Circus, Fromage, and Pop-Up Video.
Bell Media bought the MuchMusic brand in 2006. Recently, they announced plans to relaunch the network on social media with a new batch of VJs. Many fans were positive about the beloved music brand’s return, but not everyone is happy about their plans.
Former Much Music VJ, Steve Anthony, appeared on the Josie Dye Show yesterday and said,
“I wish them well, I just think it’s silly… it’s like they’re designing something that won’t have an audience.”
Listen to the interview in full below.
Steve Anthony was a founding Much Music VJ, and along with the American MTV pioneered all-music television channel.
According to Hootsuite, TikTok is the 7th most used social media network in the world, trailing other platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
What Steve Anthony thinks of the relaunch:
But, as Anthony points out, Teens who watched MuchMusic and are most familiar with the network are now in their 40s and 50s. “Here’s the deal, from 1984 to 1996, MuchMusic was a cultural icon in Canada. The people who care about the MuchMusic brand, the people who were about 14 to 25, have grown up. They are the only ones [who care about MuchMusic].”
In the U.S., the majority of TikTok users are under 30 years old. Only 20% of people in the 30-49 year old age group use TikTok, and 14% among 50-64-year olds. YouTube, on the other hand is used by 91% of 30-49 year olds, and 83% of those aged 50-64.
Anthony points out that, for the majority of young people that watch TikTok, MuchMusic is more closely related to shows like The Simpsons and other late night TV shows.
“[MuchMusic] doesn’t mean the same thing that it meant to people from 1984 to 1996. It means nothing.”
After the launch of YouTube where teens could find music videos on demand, channels like MuchMusic and its American counterpart, MTV, found their audiences erode. MuchMusic struggled to maintain its audience and expanded its programming to include reality shows like Jackass, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, and Pimp My Ride. It also aired cartoons like Beevis and Butthead and reruns of The Simpsons. Unfortunately, their audience continued to dwindle until the MuchMusic name was officially retired in 2013.
Following his almost decade-long career as a MuchMusc VJ, Steve Anthony worked at radio stations in Toronto and Montreal. A self-described, “top notch Voice Guy,” he now does professional voice overs. Steve was the television co-host of CP24 Breakfast from September 2009 to March 2018.
MuchMusic VJs like George Stroumboulopoulos, Jeanne Beker, Rick Campanelli, Sook-Yin Lee and Naurduar (aka John Ruskin) became instant celebrities and went on to have long careers in media and entertainment.