Music has been a central point in human culture since the dawn of humankind. Accessing any form of music long ago usually meant having it be performed, but technology allowed for physical items containing song data to be played with a device, like a record player. Music channels were popular on the television, similar to a radio station. When an opportunity arose for MCM, a French cable music channel, to expand its platform onto the revolutionary French Minitel, they took it. Thus arose the dialable 3615 MCM.
Tim Nott, a journalist for ‘The Independent’, shared his experience of the Minitel. He moved to France and quickly discovered how connective the Minitel was when his friends found him using simply his name and general location. Any questions he posted were answered promptly, and most information was at his fingertips. However, at the time of writing the article in 1994, Nott (1994) notes, “Minitel is 10 years old now and the information is transmitted at less than one-tenth of the speed of a modern computer-modem link, so scrolling through the pages of information can be horribly slow”. This may reflect the downfall of the Minitel decades later. Nott (1994) still remarks about the fascinating aspect of the Minitel for younger people, where he includes 3615 MCM. He remarks, “The young are also well-served, with games, competitions and on-line gig bookings. The 3615 MCM service, run by a non-stop cable television music channel also offers a CD swapping service” (Nott, 1994).
MCM planned to dominate the French music media space in 1994 around the time Nott wrote his article. A ‘Billboard’ article titled “France’s MCM Plans Radio Station Emphasizing Domestic Music” uncovers MCM’s expansion. Within the article, the president of MCM Frederic Vinzia comments on the new radio station, “(it will) be the radio window for cable channels which are currently underexposed, but in a musical environment that will attract young listeners” (Vinzia, 1994). The Minitel channel was merely one of MCM’s outposts. Even through the shutting down of Minitel services in the summer of 2012, MCM still remains a prominent French music channel.
- Legrand, Emmanuel. 1994. “France’s MCM Plans Radio Station Emphasizing Domestic Music”. Billboard, July 30, 1994.
- Nott, Tim. 1994. “Minitel made the world my huitre; France Telecom’s information service”. The Independent (London), May 20, 1994, Friday. https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/gadgets-tech/computers-minitel-made-the-world-my-huitre-france-telecom-s-information-service-1437140.html
- Schofield, Hugh. 2012. “Minitel: The Rise and Fall of the FRANCE-WIDE WEB.” BBC News, BBC, 27 June 2012, https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-18610692.