I might not watch a lot of TV, but I've known for a while that neither MuchMusic nor MTV shows music videos anymore. I even remember reading a tweet from someone a week or so ago that the only good thing about Michael Jackson's death was that the two networks were actually airing music videos. That hasn't stopped musicians and record labels from producing music videos, however.
The difference is that they aren't relying on the music networks to show their videos. They are posting these videos directly to their MySpace pages and to their YouTube channels.
Where the music networks used to insert information about the artist, song and record label at the beginning and end of each video, now this information has been incorporated into the video in much the same way that the name of the film and starring actors are incorporated into a film's opening credits.
To see what I mean, have a look at Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" below:
Its also neat to see the ability to buy tracks via iTunes directly via a link on the video. I think the obvious next step is to (unobtrusively) make it possible to buy t-shirts or vinyl from the artist in the same way.
There is also the whole new world of fan-created videos. I won't go into it in much detail here except to say that this video (found via Sean McDonald), featuring music from the band Barcelona, got hundreds of thousands of views and boosted sales of the track on iTunes. (There's more, including a response from the band here.)
On a related note, I've long prophesied the triumphant return of MySpace as an artistic destination. A recent post from MarketingCharts.com shows that Music.MySpace.com has seen over 1000% growth since launching in September 2008, and ranks as one of the top music sites online. I think that all of this bodes well for the future of music in an online world.