For a long time music videos have been a part of the music industry, many times as part of the whole promotional plan or to broaden the artistic value of the music.
Golden Age of Music Videos
Before MTV first launched in 1981, music videos where out in the world, but it wasn’t until they were broadcasted the first 24 hour music channel that it became a big thing.
The way it worked was that from that point onwards, lots of people discovered bands and artists while watching TV, but that was the hook, that people were “watching”. When we listen to the radio sometimes it’s easy to forget, or get distracted, but if you are watching a music video, you see faces, small stories, names written at the start or end of the song, and this became a huge thing.
Songs such as “Thriller” from Michael Jackson, “Sledgehammer” from Peter Gabriel, “In The End” from Linkin Park and “Weapon of Choice” from Fatboy Slim, to name a few, are some of the songs with the most memorable videos within this golden age of music videos.
It wasn’t until the arrival of internet and different social networks and platforms such as YouTube, that this started changing.
Streaming, YouTube and Independent Art
Music videos became the default way to promete and market new music, but when the consumer’s eyes shifted from TV and Radio to the internet, viewers decreased rapidly.
After the internet first established its roots, some time passed until YouTube became the main source of music videos in the world. A lot of things changed, from choosing exactly what you wanted to choose instead of the surprise of watching something new, and in a way a more personal experience.
The music industry took notice of this change and focused more on YouTube and streaming services, while channels like MTV began to make the most of shows and reality shows in order to stay relevant and give something to the young audience they used to have.
Dave Meyers one of the most popular music video directors today, told young aspirers to direction in the music industry:
Times are so much more amenable to them. The birth of influencers is evidence of that—people making $60,000 a month are using their iPhones to shoot little comedy skits. It’s just young people doing what they do. And advertisers want that audience. So I think that the most important thing is to just do it. Find your voice, and then push your voice. And then be humble enough to hear the feedback. If nobody’s checking for what you’re doing, try again. And keep trying
YouTube allows a lot of creativity to happen, this of course extends to music videos.
Lyric Videos and Videos for Listening
There is a trend that has been very successful which is to upload a song without a video in the traditional sense, but a video that just shows the lyrics of the song in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. This also comes from the idea that YouTube is a free platform and many people clicked “videos” just to “listen”, some people don’t care about the videos they just care about the music, this is why a faster simpler way to share music was introduced.
Still music videos are very much alive, and while they don’t have the spotlight they used to have on TV there are some that stand out.
Recomendations From The Last Decade
Woodkid, Iron, 2011
Radiohead, Daydreming, 2016
The Voidz, Human Sadness, 2015
Childish Gambino, This Is America, 2018
Arctic Monkeys, Four Out Of Five, 2018