Despite the fact that MTV and VH1 have devolved from boundary-pushing, career-launching creative networks into conveyer belts of reality shows, music videos are not extinct. Directors are still breaking barriers and making history. And millennials ARE watching: just not on TV anymore.
As a producer or director interested in building your portfolio, creating music videos is usually a less expensive alternative to indie films and a more creative endeavor than corporate videos. However, with the video landscape constantly changing, you have to consider a few questions. Are music videos still worth producing? Are they worth the financial investment? Where will they live and, most importantly, will millennials watch them?
First, a look back
- MTV killed the video star: When I first started film school in 2006 my ultimate goal was to become a sick music video director who used technology to push musicians’ visions to the limit and to reach my potential as a brilliant creative genius. Unfortunately, during that era, MTV was revamping their brand and social media hadn’t quite hit its stride. Music videos, for several years, became lost in the shuffle and industry insiders were on the verge of naming it a lost art. And then, something dramatic happened.
- Apps took over the world! Musicians began reaching new audiences through social media platforms and direct online marketing. Creative videos presented an excellent opportunity to recruit new fans and increase loyalty from old ones. Music videos resurged as an attention-grabbing avenue for experimentation while allowing bands to reach more people across more platforms than ever.
While extinction once seemed likely, the evolution continued instead
To stay up on the trends, the content of videos changed as well. Gone are the days of sexy female singers dancing in a leather one-piece to keep the viewer hooked. Millennials are so inundated with risqué and controversial content that hair-ography doesn’t provide the entertainment value it used to. Instead, we’ve watched the content evolve into abstract artistic performances that are unusual and out of the box (think anything Lady Gaga did before “A Star is Born”). And yes, music videos are still relevant.
With social media, tabloids, and numerous entertainment gossip shows constantly overexposing artists, the music video has become an art form musicians can hide behind. It is an outlet where they can express themselves and connect with their fans and share their story without even showing their face. Consider Rihanna’s decision to barely appear in Lemon. Instead of making another expected video that emphasizes her sex appeal, she showcased an amazing dancer. The vibe, intensity, and tone were perfect for the song and caught people’s attention. To the tune of over 100 million views on YouTube to date.
Up & comers
The music video not only allows viewers to connect to their favorite musicians, it also helps the up-and-comers get the attention they deserve. Through social media, music apps like Spotify and Pandora, and, of course, YouTube—the god of the video world itself—new artists are getting more exposure than ever.
For fans, the experience of falling in love with a new artist is incomplete if their new single isn’t accompanied by a music video that supports their brand. It doesn’t even have to be fancy, eccentric or expensive. Just check out this smooth and simple video from hip hop artist Jidenna. One easy location, one great visual effect to tie the tone together and one great performer—that’s all you need to create a music video that tells a story and hooks new fans.
The case for making a music video
- People aren’t watching like they used to, they’re watching more! Aside from satisfying artistic expression and finding a new home through social media and apps, a big question still remains: Are people really watching music videos like they did before? The answer is a resounding NO! According to this article, Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” has 6.41 billion views. BILLION. People are not watching music videos like they used to. They are watching them MORE. They are also sharing with their friends and posting on social media more. And in more countries than ever.
- The risk is low and opportunity for creative expression is high. The biggest question to any business-minded individual is whether the financial investment is worth the risk. In the case of producing music videos, the answer is a resounding YES! The potential to reach a widespread audience and the current acceptance of abstract creativity makes right now the perfect time to invest your time and talent in music videos.
Now all you need is to find a talented unknown band with the financial backing and commitment to a project. While we can’t help you with that, we can help with a lot of other things—like getting you in front of high-quality clients via our online database of searchable, vetted crews.
About Crew Connection
Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.