When it comes to serving AUX TV’s stated mandate of supporting Canadian independent artists, GlassBOX Founder and President Jeffrey Elliot doesn’t mince words: “Every pro athlete, mega-rock sta, and superstar comedian was once an amateur. To me, there’s nothing better than seeing somebody that isn’t recognized, who’s really talented, and asking, ‘How can we help them?’”
While supporting under-recognized Canadian talent offers AUX an undeniable market opportunity, it also enables the station to act as a leading tastemaker for audiences increasingly hungry for music created by emerging artists. AUX also serves as a unique catalyst to help uncover and raise the profile of artists who are typically under-represented by other music specialty channels.
Launched by GlassBOX as a website in 2008, and then as a specialty channel in October 2009, the station’s focus on promoting independent Canadian artists remains a huge part of their mandate both online and on the air. In terms of video flow alone, Elliott estimates that 85 to 90 percent of programming is Canadian, typically chosen by an in-house music committee led by AUX Music Director, Jeff Rogers.
“The mandate really is to support Canadian artists.” – GlassBOX President Jeffrey Elliot
“And if we have a Canadian band and an American band that are neck and neck, we’ll pick the Canadian band,” says Elliot. “The mandate really is to support Canadian artists and we do tend to wave the Canadian flag quite a bit around here.”
Although the station’s appeal to increase the amount of videos broadcast during daytime hours was recently denied by the CRTC, Elliott is confident they can expand the exposure AUX offers emerging artists by being creative in developing new content.
They already do so with a broad range of programming that includes shows that tread the line between documentary and performance, such as Camera Music, and more instructional offerings like Master Tracks, which provides viewers with an intimate look at the process of taking a song “from demo to download in one day.”
AUX TV marked its second anniversary in October, and the new SOCAN licensee is attempting to serve its mandate even more effectively by engaging viewers interested in well-established acts; by broadcasting more documentaries featuring familiar artists; and by “theming” their monthly programming under headings such as “Dearly Departed” and “Red Carpet.”
In addition, they’ll be leading those viewers to new talent via a new series of segments entitled Connections. Voiced by iconic Canadian radio personality Alan Cross, the segments will explore how the musical legends of the past – many of whom were initially ignored by the mainstream themselves – inform the work of present-day musical pioneers.