Music videos: they used to air 24/7 on MTV, but what space do music videos inhabit today? Right now, the music industry is booming. Today, there are some exciting new music video production changes for enthusiasts and record labels to take note of.
Here’s what you need to know.
The History of Music Video Production
MTV had its heyday in the 90s. During that time, it was the channel for major labels who wanted to shape their visual appeal and present some of their biggest stars. Massive names like Madonna and Michael Jackson made appearances on the network. Everyone in the industry knew that a prominent video placement on MTV was the best way to drive record sales.
In fact, this mentality pervaded throughout the golden age of recorded music. Music videos were commonly regarded as advertisements not only for artists but for the albums they produced. Visual was the gold standard of music marketing, and it served as the essential right-hand man to the crucial audio experience.
Since then, however, the music video production industry has shifted. Today, the profit margins for streaming content are lower than those for physical purchases, and industry professionals are looking for ways to revive their business models. As a result, many have begun to incorporate video and other visuals into their marketing, relying predominantly on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and even Netflix.
If you watched Beyonce’s viral Homecoming, you know what we mean:
While MTV may be all but defunct, music videos have maintained their importance. In fact, they’re more critical now than they’ve ever been. In a world where virtually everyone has a small computer in their pocket, music videos stand out as a consumable form of content that not only provides value but also showcases artists and the industry in a different light.
4 Ways Music Video Production Has Changed
Today, the production of music videos is a high-impact pursuit. Great videos combine aesthetics with delivery and monetization and must be perfect to move the needle tangibly. Here are a few significant ways the music video industry has shifted in recent years:
1. Livestreaming is more common
Music is a powerful medium, and it’s the vessel of choice for anyone who wants to foster a shared, emotional connection between artists and fans or between people in an in-person environment. Think of how powerful the experience of being at a concert is – being surrounded by thousands of screaming fans in a stadium.
Today, music producers and record labels know this, and they’re using the medium of video to help capture and extend that feeling. In addition to the fact that live events are a valuable revenue source, they’re also a powerful experience that can help an artist expand their reach.
With all this in mind, more and more artists are using live streaming to broadcast their live events. Consider how Kanye West did it when he used the live-streaming app WAV to broadcast his Ye album release party.
Ariana Grande, meanwhile, raked in a massive 829,000 viewers during the live premiere of her music video for “thank u, next,” which she streamed on YouTube.
These are great examples of artists and labels using video intelligently, and how doing so can skyrocket engagement and attention.
2. Micropayments are becoming popular
While crowdsourcing for music videos is old news, modern platforms are enabling micropayments – a structure within which fans can contribute directly to the content they love. For an example of this in action, consider the journey of Chinese music company Tencent Music.
When the company initially went public on the New York Stock Exchange, the company revealed for the first time its unique business model. Instead of making its revenue from audio streaming, the company was relying on “social entertainment services,” including but not limited to “in-app monetary tips” and other digital gifts users would send to the brand.
While the micropayment economy is still budding on Western platforms, users of platforms like Twitch, for example, can buy virtual gifts for their favorite streamers, and select YouTube users can pay to have their messages highlighted on the platform. WAV, the platform Kayne Used to launch the Ye party, is also experimenting with in-app currency.
In the future, the music industry will likely see much more consumer-to-artist support, which will open up exciting new channels and platforms for the industry as a whole.
3. The parameters surrounding length have shifted
In recent years, music videos have gotten both shorter and longer. Thanks to the internet, it’s now possible for video content of all lengths to thrive and find an audience, and this has allowed more latitude for artists and record labels who want to explore the various ends of the spectrum.
Today, many musicians are becoming cinematic in their visual pursuits. Take Tierra Whack’s Whack World Spotify project as an example. The project is indecipherable on a platform like Spotify and relies heavily on the 15-minute YouTube video that accompanies the album.
Projects like this show that, while budgets have declined, the willingness to invest creative effort has not. High-quality videos are precisely as essential today as they’ve always been, and the results are more creative than ever before.
4. Personalization, localization, and contextualization are essential
Today’s music video production focuses heavily on personalization and localization. Localized shows, for example, are becoming increasingly popular on streaming platforms. Today’s artists are going above and beyond to customize their content, so it appeals to a broader base of audiences.
Music streaming platforms like Spotify, for example, are creating bespoke pages that accompany the platform’s expansion into international markets. Those in Asia can access K-pop pages now, for example. Additionally, the platform has taken context into account by organizing user homepages by the time of day.
This music video production trend follows trends in the greater scope of digital marketing and content. Today, personalization is everything, and companies who speak most directly to clients win.
Improving Your Music Videos in the Modern World
There’s no question that the nature of music videos is changing. Today’s artists are getting more creative and artistic with their videos than ever before. If you’re looking for ways to produce music videos on a budget, hiring a videographer is essential. Luckily, that’s what The H Hub is here for.
Our platform connects creatives with companies looking to hire them. We are proud to boast a wide selection of skilled videographers for you and your team to choose from. Browse our comprehensive selection now to find the perfect videographer for our upcoming project.