Filler (media)
In media, filler is material that is combined with material of greater relevance or quality to "fill out" a certain volume.

Early television

In the early days of television, most output was live. The hours of broadcast were limited and so, for test purposes, a test card
Test card
A test card, also known as a test pattern in North America and Australia, is a television test signal, typically broadcast at times when the transmitter is active but no program is being broadcast...

 was commonly broadcast at other times. When a breakdown happened during a live broadcast, a standard recording would be used to fill-in. On the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, a film of a potter's wheel
Potter's wheel
In pottery, a potter's wheel is a machine used in asma of round ceramic ware. The wheel may also be used during process of trimming the excess body from dried ware and for applying incised decoration or rings of color...

 was often used for this purpose, filmed at the Compton Potters' Arts Guild
Compton Potters' Arts Guild
The Compton Potters' Arts Guild was a pottery, founded by and based at the Surrey home of Scottish artist, Mary Fraser Tytler.-Background:A follower of the Home Arts and Industries Association, set up by Earl Brownlow in 1885 to encourage handicrafts among the lower classes, Fraser-Tytler, the wife...

. Similar short films, such as a kitten playing, were also used as interludes or interstitial programs to fill gaps in TV schedules. In the USA, these have their roots in the old Saturday afternoon horror movies hosted on independent stations.

Music albums

Albums of music were typically of a set size determined by the physical medium such as the vinyl record (typically 22 minutes per side) or CD (maximum 80 minutes). Artists might then have to pad out their material to the standard length by including filler tracks of lesser quality and this was normal for popular music in the 1960s.

Oftentimes songs written by the artists or the producer of an album were included as filler and/or released on the b-side of singles to generate more royalties for the songwriter or artist.

Cover version
Cover version
In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song...

s are often considered to be fillers, though this judgement varies with the amount of creative interpretation and adaption of the original. Similarly, live recordings, demo versions or remix
A remix is an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version. This term is also used for any alterations of media other than song ....

es follow the same argument.

On the subject of music downloads, Courtney Love
Courtney Love
Courtney Michelle Love is an American rock musician. Love is the lead vocalist, lyricist, and rhythm guitarist for alternative rock band Hole, which she formed in 1989, and is an actress who has moved from bit parts in Alex Cox films to significant and acclaimed roles in The People vs...

 told the Digital Hollywood
Digital Hollywood
Digital Hollywood is a trade conference covering the fields of film, television, music, home video, cable, telecommunications and computer industries. It debuted in 1990....

 conference "If you’re afraid of your own filler then I bet you’re afraid of Napster
Napster is an online music store and a Best Buy company. It was originally founded as a pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing Internet service that emphasized sharing audio files that were typically digitally encoded music as MP3 format files...

", meaning that other artists may be afraid of listeners being able to listen to a full album before buying it.
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