Much Music is down to one single hour of videos during weekdays. Previously, they were still playing seven hours of videos weekdays from 6am to 1pm. This new schedule as the videos being played for an hour at noon.
I'll be the first to admit this change won't affect me in the least. An avid watcher of Much Music in the 80s and 90s, I haven't tuned in for more than a Simpsons episode or two in many years. In fact, I was surprised to learn they were still airing seven hours of videos. Bell Media, owners of Much, say their block of videos attracted less than 4000 viewers a day. That's a paltry figure.
Without a doubt, the Internet killed the Much Music video star. But Much isn't its first victim! Here's a quick list of stuff I used to consume regularly but have abandoned because the Internet made it obsolete.
I wrote many essays in high school and university, and at some point in the process, I'd reach for an encyclopedia. Often this involved a trip to the library and a photocopy machine. It was quite the endeavour, and it's been completely replaced by the Internet.
I owned a GTA map book for driving (that I paid real money for!), and free foldable TTC and Toronto cycling maps. Although I still have that old GTA map book in the trunk of my '99 Mazda (where it's been for twenty years), I haven't had to look at a paper map in this country in many, many years. Blame the Internet!
I loved my local video store. The owner, who shortly thereafter was arrested for selling drugs, tipped me off that I might like this movie Reservoir Dogs by this new director I'd never heard of. So many of the movies I watched were recommended to me by the video store guy, and I watched a lot of movies in the 80s and 90s. Although there are still a few video stores around, I haven't set foot in one since... I can't remember when!
Personal Snail Mail
Do you remember writing (or typing) a letter, folding it up, putting it in an envelope, affixing a stamp and dropping it in a mailbox? This was a regular event. I'm not referring to business correspondence or any sort of administrative duties, I'm talking about a letter to a friend or family member. The Internet has killed this practice.
35mm Film Development
I used to own a single-purpose film camera. Listen up kids, because every word I type here is fact. I'd buy film, either 24 or 35 exposures, I'd carefully put it in the camera, and then I'd selectively take pictures until the film was used up. Did someone blink? Was it blurry? It all remained a mystery until I took the film into the drug store or grocery store and waited for it to be developed. Then, I'd come back days later, pay some more money, and get my photos. It's not so much the Internet that killed this ritual, but digital cameras. The Internet just killed the physical photo album.
On a Saturday morning, I loved heading downtown on the subway to check out the records stores near Yonge and Dundas. Sam the Record Man, A&A Records, HMV... you'd walk in and get lost (with apologies to Honest Ed) and it was the best. At different points in my life I bought cassette tapes, 45 vinyl singles, and then CDs. Some of my fondest memories are getting an anticipated release on day one. In Utero, Vs., and the Use Your Illusions to name a few. When I went to U of T and lived downtown, I'd do this daily. Those days, sadly, are long gone.
Lining Up for Concert Tickets
We used to collect at a TicketMaster location to buy concert tickets. You were sure to get their really early to ensure you got your tickets. At some point, they had a wristband policy and you would go there days earlier to get your wristband and then collect at the TicketMaster location at 10am on a Saturday (or whenever) for the lottery. At some point, the Internet killed this, for better or worse.
I could go on... mobile phones themselves eliminated the need for payphones, having to call a landline shared by an entire family, leaving your house and being unreachable for several hours... but that's an entry of its own.
I'd close by lamenting the loss of videos on Much, but truth be known it was lost long ago. To Youtube I go for an eternal playlist of every video I ever loved. Catch you later.