When most music lovers want to watch a music video, they usually turn to two places: the TV or the Internet. MTV (the main channel) does not plays music videos like it used to. While they do have other channels (like MTV Hits, for example) that plays music videos more regularly; the Internet has become the place where the music video flourishes.
A music lover usually uses sites like YouTube, MySpace or VEVO to search the artist they want to view. They pick the song's music video, click and begin watching. But, they must know what song they want to listen first in order to watch a music video. The question is, do they?
This is where a new company called ZUUS Media (or just ZUUS) comes in. ZUUS has bridged the gap between online radio services and traditional music videos services. Their motto is "Why Just Listen?" According to Billboard, "ZUUS (is) -- a new music service for the Web, iOS, Android and Television... the Pandora for video via curated music video channels based on genre, decade and even mood." Users can comb through a multitude of music video channels that are mostly curated to their interests. They simply click on the channel they like (as they would for Pandora) but instead of just audio, the music video plays for a visual experience.
Besides this revolutionary format (I have not seen this done before), ZUUS has one of the largest music video collections around. This goes beyond the videos that have been released in the last decade (in the past, I've found it difficult to find old, good quality music videos). They have deals with major labels like Universal and Sony, as well as over 100 indie labels. And direct partnerships with artists and companies with extensive digital catalogs. All of which make ZUUS's collection one of the most extensive I have ever seen.
I created a ZUUS account and decided to check out the site myself. The site is very user-friendly with most of the content in drop-down menus (the menu is not clogging the website, therefore not obstructing your view of whatever you are watching). I did not encounter any ads or photos around the music videos, which would catch my eye and may obstruct my viewing experience.
I clicked on the One Hit Wonders Channel, since this would have videos from all decades. The first video to pop up was Len "Steal My Sunshine." The video played clear and went all the way through with no buffering. I went through many more music videos, all ranging in release dates (most were pre-Internet). All the videos I viewed had a clear picture, even with the older videos. Like traditional radio, I found myself discovering new (or in my case old) music videos that I would not normally look up. I knew the song, but never thought the music video would be something that I would want to watch. The start-up time between videos was very quick (seconds, if that).
A few downsides: it is like an online radio station. You cannot skip through parts of the music video (unlike, say, watching it on YouTube). Finding out what the next video is going to be is also a mystery. However, unlike a radio station, a screen capture of the first frame of the next video is displayed (however, no name or title). There is also a limited amount of "skips," but I would recommend "disliking" a music video is a better option because it would help with your overall experience. Still, I expected these things going-in and overall it was a positive music viewing and listening experience.
ZUUS is becoming more than the "Pandora for music videos." They already have TV channels like ZUUS Country both on TV and online dedicated to playing just music videos in that genre. Original content like interviews from music festivals, original shorts, and behind-the-scenes shows are also featured. I downloaded their app for iPhone (also available for Android) and was happy with the results.
I was also fortunate enough to speak to the CEO/co-founder Steve Goldstein and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Gannett. They explained and showed me current and upcoming features of ZUUS. Both (along with many members of their growing staff) have worked in high positions in the music industry. They know their stuff. I could also tell they were and are passionate about what they are doing. They were not only knowledgeable, but personable. In the entertainment industry, it is sometimes hard to find people like this. This freelance writer from Pennsylvania has encountered both kinds (the negative is usually in the form of ignoring me).
After all this time, I can say that ZUUS Media (Or just ZUUS) is a name that fans, artists and everyone should get to know. They are clearly moving in the right direction and will continue to grow. Is ZUUS just the "Pandora for music videos?" No. It is much more than this. I would not be surprised if they become one of the major players in the music industry.
Check out ZUUS here.