The music video may be about to have new life breathed into it, the likes of which hasn't been seen since the conception of MTV, and it could be Apple doing the breathing.

Following Apple's latest update to iTunes, which added QuickTime video functionality, columnist Charles Arthur speculates: "I believe Apple is lining up something dramatic: an online music video store where you'll be able to buy any of the music videos you've watched on MTV since its inception."

"For the record companies, it means a way to make music videos start to pay for themselves, just a little bit," he writes, for NetImperative.

And he notes: "With that huge back catalogue of music videos out there, which otherwise just get aired by MTV or VH1 but don't generate much money, there's a strong incentive for the record companies to dust off the videos and deliver them to Apple."

"Plus, compared to movies, rights for music videos are a doddle. There's no repeat payments to the actors," he adds.

"Why isn't Apple making a big fuss about this now?" he asks. "I think it wants to have plenty of content before it really makes a noise about this. Steve Jobs likes his messages to make a big splash," Arthur suggests.