The music video constitutes an important part of the record industry. It affords artists a unique opportunity to impress the general public. To demonstrate their vocal talent, present a carefully crafted image and exercise individual artistic flare. YouTube is the perfect vehicle to deliver this integrated media package. It not only affords access to free music videos but also to a wealth of potential customers placing it in the forefront of any marketing strategy.
In the 1980’s these snapshots were much less important. The emergence of MTV or Music Television which was founded in the USA in 1981 proved a game changer. It started broadcasting 24/7 and soon acquired a huge audience. Pop music videos were in high demand and their influence as a medium within the industry increased accordingly.
MTV has proven highly controversial: some saw it as the start of an amazing new era. Indeed it played a pivotal role in the careers of music artists such as Madonna and Michael Jackson. Others believe that it marked the end of true musical talent artists were now more valued for their image than vocal skills.
Today the music video is as important as the song in determining whether an artist will be a success. Fans claim that they represent a new art form one that should be assessed as much on its visual qualities. Most video directors simply view them as a stepping stone, hoping to build name recognition and subsequently direct a movie.
The emergence of YouTube music has initiated another shift in the balance of power within the industry. The production of videos, are no longer the sole preserve of the record companies with huge budgets working with famous directors. Any individual or band can upload live music or a home produced film, in the hope of creating their own fan base and signing a record deal.
Video in the music for free era has been elevated into a distinct form of entertainment, now at the very heart of the business. But the bottom line remains it is a commercial exercise with one sole objective to sell the song itself.