Whether it be, music via iTunes, Spotify and YouTube. Boxsets and blockbusters via Netflix, or the latest digibox or USB drive plugged into your wide-screen TV sets. On top of this we like our visual and musical entertainment on the go, hence using our mobile phones and tablets to continue the almost all consuming immersion into the realms of pleasure we all enjoy when watching the television in the lounge or bedroom is not possible. This is where, as both, a Jazz and Blues enthusiast, I become excited. For although with the internet it is possible to find something worthy of watching, sometimes your choices can be limited. But, as of the 30th of September, after years (yes - years) of planning the brainchild of Vince Williams, a new online subscription service has launched Jazz & Blues TV. An exciting subscription service that plans to bring the best in new and old Jazz and Blues artists to the channel for both our visual and aural pleasure, in the form of live performances, documentary films, and exclusive content. I managed to ask Mr Williams a few questions about this project and what his plans are for its development. What he had to say is both very encouraging and exciting. The future of Jazz & Blues TV looks bright.
Here is what Vince had to say when I questioned him about this exciting enterprise:
ZANI - Hi Vince, thank you for agreeing to talk to zani.co.uk - Here are a few questions about Jazz & Blues TV.
Firstly, where and when did the idea for Jazz & Blues TV first manifest itself?
Vince Williams - Torquay summer 2010. I had hosted several jazz events in Torquay/Plymouth in previous years . I realised very quickly that if I was going to make a success of being a Jazz promoter I would need to find a more efficient/effective way of reaching audiences. The idea of TV didn't immediately come to mind. Initially I was focused on filming concerts for DVD distribution, but soon noticed that DVD sales were falling in the wake of the streaming revolution - YouTube, Netflix etc...notwithstanding the fact video technology has progressed massively since 2009/10.
ZANI -So far on the channel you have artists that are highly respected, but are not necessarily household names as yet. Artists like the fantastic Jackie Venson, who in the realms of British Jazz and Blues is highly respected indeed. Plus you have the excellent documentary about The New Mastersounds: Coals To Newcastle: The New Mastersounds, From Leeds To New Orleans. This shows your wish to provide a platform for current Jazz & Blues artists, and musicians to reach wider audiences- do you also hope to provide footage of the almost endless list of household names such as Armstrong, Miles, Coltrane; Parker, Wolf, Harpo and Hooker?
Vince Williams - Getting agreement from more well known artists to be featured on J&BTV has been/is difficult. But even more difficult, is negotiating the rights to licence content of household names for the J&BTV platform.
The old way of doing business in the music industry, does not work in the digital era. The J&BTV business model has been optimised for the digital era. It could be argued that many household names, have too much invested in the old music industry to even consider gambling their reputation with a digital music startup such as J&BTV. In addition, acquiring the streaming/SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) rights of household names in concert is prohibitively expensive
For these reasons, we decided to create original content, which would only be available on the J&BTV platform. It's a slow process, but we're working with quality emerging/less well-known artists, to build the J&BTV brand to a level where it is immediately recognised and trusted globally, as the place to find quality musicians and music performances on the internet. However, in the coming weeks and months we'll be announcing the arrival of several Grammy Winners/Nominees to the platform. In the long run we plan to license about 20% of our total content output.
ZANI -There is an excellent and well shot documentary film : Rainy Day: Ognian Vladev on the channel - what struck me when watching this is the quality and crispness of the production. You've invested a lot into the technological side of the platform and have teamed up with VHX. You are really making sure subscribers are getting quality content. When I spoke to you recently you mentioned the streaming of live events and the filming of concerts. Are you able to give ZANI an exclusive and let us know of anything you have lined up?
Vince Williams - We believe live streaming would work best for major artists with a massive global audience. That said, we still have a lot to do on the Subscription Video On Demand side, before we can offer live streaming to our audiences. I would expect J&BTV to offer a live stream in second or third quarter of 2017.
ZANI- Although Jazz & Blues TV is essentially a British endeavour - you are wanting the US market to get behind it also. Do you have material from the US planned to be aired for the first time in both the Uk and Europe?
Vince Williams - Absolutely!! The data already shows that 42.5% of visitors to the J&BTV website are from the USA! We'll be making several content-production partnership announcements with several US production companies and venues over the coming weeks.
ZANI -Finally there are many Jazz and Blues Festivals held throughout the world, do you hope to report on any of these to give subscribers up to date information and in some cases footage from any such festivals?
Vince Williams - Very good question! The short answer is yes, of course. We plan to launch www.jazzandblues.today in again either the second or third quarter of 2017 - a kind of reportage style of Video log/Blog website (which will integrate with the J&BTV platform) offering a unique mix of original content in the form of reportage photography and videography. Festivals provide endless opportunities for J&BTV to showcase both musicians and the music to a global audience.
I wish to thank Vince for giving his precious time to answer these questions, we at www.zani.co.uk are looking forward to see the new content as it becomes available.
To bring this piece to a close I have to say that for me - Jazz & Blues TV is an exciting development in bringing exclusive content to music enthusiasts, and anyone interested in innovative independent films that look at the roles of artists and audiences alike. The fact that there is a place to access this content so readily, wherever you are, and at anytime is typical of the current age. It also shows that art forms from the past are still relevant - Jazz and Blues maybe maybe niche markets but, there is still a thriving culture of musicians and enthusiasts out there and it is only right that they should have an accessible platform to introduce their music. Let's hope Zani will be able to bring further exciting news from Jazz & Blues TV in the future, and any other developing platforms that can enrich both culture and lives.