Yeah, yeah, we know. There are licensing issues, especially for all those campy '80s videos that haven't seen the light of day in years. And launching a product prematurely could have led to bad press, as opposed to the "wow, we like this" response that MTV Music seems to have gotten thus far.
The issue, of course, is that most music videos are already available on YouTube, and it's not clear yet whether people will change their browsing habits and actually go over to MTV Music for videos now.
Viacom-owned MTV Networks has built in community features through its Flux technology, so that members can comment on videos, rate them (not surprisingly, Rick Astley's 1988 song "Never Gonna Give You Up," which has experienced a wild surge of Internet-meme popularity in the past year, is near the top of the chart), and share them on Facebook, MySpace, and blogs.
There are a couple of ads for Rhapsody, MTV's music retail partner, but I haven't seen any actual "Buy This Song" links accompanying videos. That'd be a good move for MTV.
So I leave you with Weezer's "Buddy Holly," one of my favorite videos of the '90s, back when we all thought they'd turn out to be a dweeby, one-hit-wonder novelty act:
By Caroline McCarthy