Long before the Internet, the pursuit of independent music required a proactive effort from listeners akin to an archaeological dig. In much the same way that the online music website Pitchfork revolutionized that concept with its curatorial approach to record reviews, the launch of the new music video portal Pitchfork.tv aims to change the way music fans access video.
Ryan Schreiber, who created Pitchfork.com in 1995, says that sort of editorial filter will help make Pitchfork.tv standout online.
"A lot of the videos we show are available on YouTube, and anyone could go watch them," he says. "The idea of suggestion, that there is a play list" is what he expects will draw people in; Pitchfork.tv has already registered more than 2 million video plays.
"On YouTube you have to know what you're looking for and then go find it," Schreiber says. "Here, we're creating this catalog of songs and videos that we think are really great. That's something that YouTube just doesn't offer."
Nor can most sites offer Pitchfork.tv's original content. In the segment "Juan's Basement," for example, music fan Juan Pieczanski (above right, with Schreiber) records live sets from bands in his Brooklyn basement.
"We're trying to test the boundaries of what can be done under the umbrella of music television," says Schreiber. "Trying to treat the music in a more respectful fashion than it has traditionally been treated."