Music Videos as a Form of Promotion
Music videos are a good method for promoting an artist’s music. They often include footage of their concerts, which helps show the audience the energy in the room when they perform live and show what it would be like to attend. For example, the band Twenty One Pilots use a lot of concert footage in their videos, especially when there’s a fluctuation in the music and shows the crowd going wild. In Lane Boy and Car Radio, there is footage of the concerts and the crowd doing Mexican waves, showing audience involvement. It also shows that the artist cares about giving their audience a good show For a major artist, concert halls or festival stalls are often larger than smaller artists, showing the scale of the artists success. Smaller artists will use them to fill up time in a music video as budgets will be much smaller.
Music videos are a huge benefit to the sales of merchandise because often artists have different themes for different songs or even albums. Concept albums where the artist come up with an image to parallel the music are becoming more common and are successful ways for an artist to not only promote themselves, but also their merchandise. For example, Marina and the Diamonds uses a different visual theme for each album. Her recent album was titled ‘Froot’ and the concept of the album was regal and fruity themed and so therefore the merchandise was also in this style. Also, major artists often wear something nice in their videos that is then remade to be sold on their shops. For example, Lady Gaga’s pink hat.
Music videos benefit musicians greatly because it allows their product to be shown on another platform. This means the music gets more exposure than it would have without the music video. For example, music channels such as MTV, 4Music, and Viva promote the music by showing their videos on their channels. In addition to this, having a music video that mirrors the theme or meaning of the song visually helps to provide the audience with understanding the meaning and so therefore they will appreciate the song and artist more. For example, Halsey’s ‘Hurricane’ music video reflects the sombre tone of the song. The editing and the tune are both slow and nostalgic.
Music Videos as an Extension of Income
What impact do music videos have on the sales of music?
Music videos have a very large impact on the sales of music. One way they increase sales is through exposure. It gives the music a bigger area to be broadcast and so therefore will be received on a larger scale. Music videos that include synergy increase sales because there is more than one link. Music videos with a strong concept increase the sales because it sells the story. Together, all the methods explained in this essay helps to increase sales on a big scale because each method has a different advantage. In addition to this, music videos that show something unique increase sales because it draws the public’s attention. One example of this is Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’ which had a large sales number due to the nature of the video. The video was provocative, through her clothing and mannerisms which caused controversy as she was accused of trying to just gain attention.
Music Videos as an Extension of Outlets
How do music videos increase the exposure of an artist and therefore increase the availability of their music?
Music videos increase the exposure of an artist because they provide another format for the music to be shown on. The more forms of access to the music there is, the more it is available as there are more options. Music videos streamed on channels such as MTV, Viva and 4Music increase the exposure as the viewers then have other ways to access the music. In addition to this, companies such as YouTube regularly make mixes of new songs on the block that more often than not include a video.
Music videos as a form of Synergy
How can music videos have a direct link and promote films, TV, or other entertainment products?
Music videos can include synergy to increase sales for the musician and other musicians or brands. For example, the music video can feature products being promoted. For example, in Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’, there is promotion for a brand of alcohol and Beats products. It shows multiple close ups of Beats computers which was heavy product placement. Beats is owned by Universal and so is Lady Gaga. Major labels will often feature artists promoting products of the same label. In addition to this, music videos can also link to other forms of media. Kendrick Lamar produced the album for 2018’s ‘Black Panther’, a highly acclaimed film for its strong representation of black culture. This helps increase sales for Lamar as it shows that he stands with this equality as well as financial profit. The film company Marvel also benefit as Kendrick Lamar is a highly acclaimed artist so it means the product will reach more people.
Independent VS. Major
Identify and explain how music videos can be used to help self-promotion for independent artists and labels?
Music videos provide self promotion for independent musicians and labels because they help increase the exposure and availability of the music. It is harder for smaller brands to sell themselves because major labels control a large amount of features we use, so for independent labels and artists to have a music videos it increases their chances to gain a following. If your music video touches on a controversial or powerful subject, you will gain recognition for it which greatly increases the likelihood of success in terms of music, and also getting a message out. For example, Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’ speaks about LGBT issues which brought him a lot of success. Also, independent music videos are often lower budget so it is an opportunity for them to promote their concerts, merch and other features.
What are the differences between how a major and independent record label will use an artist’s music video?
Major record labels will use an artist and their music videos to promote their company and gain large sales. When artists sign to these big labels the music they make becomes more the labels vision than their own, and the label will have large marketing areas that will target current trends in music and follow it to gain revenue and publicity. The music videos will have a large budget and have strong artistic vision. In addition to this, they may also work with the artist to come up with a video that gains a lot of attention, such as Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’. Big label songs will take up a large portion of the charts giving them a lot of space to broadcast the video on channels such as MTV.
Independent record labels will use music videos to promote the artist and label. Often on YouTube, record labels will have channels with music videos from all their artists on them, rather than separate channels for each artist. This way it promotes both the artist and label equally. For example, Rough Trade Records have a channel featuring all of their artists. They will also use music videos to promote events such as gigs and festivals – independent music videos often feature live music footage which promotes these events.
Music Videos as a Creative Media Product
Could music videos be considered an alternative medium for the artist(s) to express themselves?
Yes, music videos can be an alternative medium for expression. Music is more often than not based on true emotion, concepts, ideals, etc. A large majority of songs are based on romance because that might be how the artist feels about it when they write, or they might be angry about something, or have an opinion to share. They can communicate this visually as well as acoustically. It can be a healthy way for artists to channel their emotions and communicate with their audience. For example, Beyonce’s ‘Halo’ has a strong exposure and the colours are very light and the editing is angelic like. It conveys the mood of the song visually and emphasises the meaning.
What impact can a music video have on an artist(s) image?
Music videos can have a huge impact on an artists image. The content will reflect the artist, so as a label or musician it is important to consider what you want to show the world because it all comes back to you. One the one hand, music videos can have a positive impact on your image. For example, if your music video features representation, stands for a positive statement, reflects happiness or awareness etc. your image will be impacted positively as viewers will appreciate it. For example, The Script’s ‘Hall of Fame’ had a positive impact on their image because it had a positive message.
On the other hand, music videos can also have a negative image impact. If people take it negatively, or if it has negative image or includes offensive imagery, it can have negative impact. For example, The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My B**** Up’ had a negative impact on their image because it featured obscene content.
Could a music video be considered as a ‘stand alone’ creative media text?
Music videos can be considered a stand alone creative media text because they are versatile products that can be used in different ways. There is no limit to what you can include in a music video so it is very possible to make it a stand along product. For example, Fall Out Boy released a series of music videos from their album and constructed a narrative that didn’t apply to the album concept. They then brought all the videos together into one long movie-like video – making it a stand along creative text by itself.