Here’s a Good Question: How Important Are Music Videos These Days?

When MTV first launched, pretty much the entire music industry thought they were crazy.

“What?  People are going to sit around and WATCH music?  Twenty-four hours a day?  And you want the industry to supply all these expensive filmed productions for free?  You’re nuts!

But then a strange thing happened.  Record sales started to spike in cities where MTV was available.  New bands–especially photogenic/telegenic UK groups like Duran Duran–suddenly became platinum sensations thanks to their videos.  Once that correlation was established, it didn’t take long for every label and every artist to jump into the music video game.

That was a long time ago.  MTV, MuchMusic and other music video channels aren’t music video channels at all anymore.  And the idea of any of us sitting around in front of a TV for hours hoping our favourite new clip will appear is crazy.  Why wait when YouTube or Vivo can deliver it in seconds on any platform we choose?

So here’s the question: are music videos important anymore?  Nielsen, the measurement company behind SoundScan, takes a look.

If you’ve caught yourself replicating PSY’s dance moves or have ever done the “Harlem Shake,” then you’re direct proof of how music videos can capture people’s attention. Some of the most popular videos of the past few years have been music videos, including those for the hit songs “Blurred Lines,” “Wrecking Ball” and “Harlem Shake.” And that’s good news for artists who benefit from increased exposure and additional forms of revenue.To capitalize on this success, many brands today are jumping on the music video bandwagon and incorporating products into big-name artists’ videos. If executed well, a brand’s integration can improve consumers’ perception and attitudes towards the brand. And it’s not just awareness that increases with exposure. These subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) integrations of brands and music can also boost brand perception and purchase intent for even greater impact.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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