Q. How do you interpret the term ‘producers strategies’?
What do you think it means in relation to music videos?
Music videos are not merely constructed
as a visual representation of the song. The
music industry often has a motive for the
style, narrative, production and promotion
of the video and artist.
There are a variety of strategies that
Producer’s use in order to encourage
single, album and tour sales, promotion of
the artist and their image, sales of
There are three potential ‘producers’.
• The major label
• The independent music label
• The artist
In groups, discuss the positives and negatives effecting
the production of a music video with each type of
Use the questions on the sheet as a prompt.
Who is the Producer?DISCOVER
Who is the Producer?
A major label
• For a mainstream artist.
• Generally charts high, sells lots of records and
therefore tour and merchandise.
• Large budgets for promotional material (such as
• Predominately main stream/popular music
genres such as Pop and RnB
Example: Rhianna is signed to Roc Nation
Who is the Producer?
An independent label
• Smaller, independent music label.
• Smaller budget.
• Niche market for music genre – dance (specific sub
genres), indie, folk etc
• Target audience and music artist often credit music videos as an art
form. Often experimental in terms of technique, equipment and
• Prepared (budget dependent) to use less experienced/known music
video directors with a proven creative background.
Example: Aphex Twin is signed to Warp Records
Who is the Producer?
• Some artists may decide to make the video themselves.
• Often unsigned, it can be used as a promotional tool to gain
fans/exposure and ultimately lead to signing with a label.
• This is usually due to budget limitations.
• It may also reflect a desire to take artistic control of the visual
• Cost effective technical equipment makes it easier to
access, produce and distribute material.
A particular style or change of image can affect the success of a music artist.
This may be influenced by the style of music adopted on a new album.
Producer’s encouraged Britney (age 15) to dress as a school girl in her ‘hit me
baby’ music video.
Whilst this reflected the school based narrative, the provocative costume
encouraged discussion amoungst fans (and potential fans) therefore
encouraging single sales. It is one of the most iconic music video costumes of
Robbie Williams released a swing album. This was reflected in the vintage
costume used in his concert performances and music videos, therefore
helping him to appeal to a new (wider) audience.
Some music artists are so associated with image
reinvention in their videos that it has become an automatic
Often, there is such anticipation for the release of a video
that exclusive first previews are organised.
Rewarding fans with access via the website creates a sense
Some Producer’s will encourage a provocative narrative
in the video that will encourage word of mouth exposure.
One of the first music videos to use this technique was
Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.
Most of his videos were expensive productions with a
strong narrative and performance theme. Word of mouth
helped to promote the video as well as the
MTV and other music channels gave fans an outlet to
watch his music videos.
Now this is obviously reflected by the amount of views on
youtube which give an instant measure to
fans, Producer’s and the Artist as to the popularity of the
New and innovative production
techniques can provoke discussion and
encourage fans to watch a music video.
Busta Rhymes ‘Gimmee some more’
• Hype Williams
• Fish eye lense
• hyper bright colours
• Skipping frames in the edit.
• Editing the speed.
Coldplay ‘The Scientist’
• Jamie Thraves
• Footage edited in reverse.
The Prodigy ‘Smack
my b**** up’
• Jonas Åkerlund
• POV shot
• Stephen Johnson
Some music videos are deliberately provocative in their choice of
narrative and imagery. Often this is a conscious decision. No
publicity is bad publicity!
Before the invention of youtube, a banned music video could
have a negative impact on the promotion of the song as the
video would be harder to access.
Now a banned video is easy to find…
The BBC’s first pop music video ban
Why do you think that this
video was banned?
"Dead End Street" by the Kinks
In 1966, an early music video depicting the
band members as top hat-wearing pallbearers
was deemed tasteless by the BBC – even
though the "corpse" jumped out of the
coffin, apparently alive and well – resulting in
the BBC's first pop video ban.
‘Dead end street’
Once a music artist has become
successful, it is possible (although
unusual) to reshoot a music video
with a bigger budget.
Compare how Ellie Goulding
is represented in each video.
Which was the first version to
Why do you think that they
• Product endorsement (synergy)
• Connection to a film
• Collaboration (with a bigger
• Social media
• TV/magazine interviews etc
Can you think of
examples of music
videos that include
any of these?
What does Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’
music video look like?
This was the first ‘release’.
Why did they release this?
Other examples of teasers:
• Creating the most expensive music video of all
time was competitive in the 80’s and 90’s.
• It demonstrated power and success.
Watch the mini documentary.
• What does this tell you about:
• Current production values
Based on your research today, you are going to create an infographic
exploring facts and figures concerning the history of music videos.
I am particularly interested in STATISTICS on:
• Specific music artists/genres/songs
Some possible ideas:
What are the top three most expensive music videos of all time?
Which music artist has created the greatest number of music videos?
What is the most popular filming location?
Which country produces the greatest number of music videos per year?
Which music video has the most you tube hits?
Average music video budget today compared to the nineties.
What facts can you uncover?
• Interesting articles:
videos/ (from the perspective of a band)