Overview of requirements• Promotional• Extension of income• Extension of outlets (music channels, DVD and CD sales, website, download)• Synergy• Producer’s strategies (major label and independent)
A little history• Modern music videos were originally made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings• They are often called ‘promos’
• In 1940, Walt Disney created Fantasia, an animated film based around famous piece of classical music
• The earliest music videos were filmed in the 1950s• In 1956 Tony Bennett was filmed walking along The Serpentine in Hyde Park as his song ‘Stranger in Paradise’ played. This was distributed to TV stations in the UK and US
• The Beatle’s first major motion picture ‘A hard Day’s Night’ in 1964 arguably set out the basic visual vocabulary of today’s music videos• Penny Lane in 1967 used techniques borrowed from underground and avant garde film to illustrate the song in an artful manner
1970s• In the UK the importance of Top of the Pops to promote a single created an environment of innovation and competition amongst bands and record labels as the show’s producers placed strict limits on the number of videos it would use…therefore a good video would increase a song’s sales
• Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody also started a whole new era for using music videos as promos.
1980s• 1981 – MTV is launched. The first video to be aired was Buggles ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’• David Bowie scored his first UK number one in nearly a decade thanks to his catchy promo for ‘Ashes to Ashes’• Artists began to use more sophisticated effects in their videos and added a storyline or concept to the video…
• Michael Jackson was the first to create the idea of a short film – a music video with a beginning, middle and end.
• Top of the Pops was censorious in it’s approach to video content, so another way for an artist gain publicity and get people talking was to produce a promo that would be banned or edited• Duran Duran’s ‘Girls on Film’• Frankie Goes to Hollywood ‘Relax’• The Prodigy ‘Smack my Bitch Up’ and ‘Firestarter’
Mid-1980s• Music videos came to play a central role in the marketing of an act or artist.• Madonna owed a great deal of her success to the skilful construction and seductive appeal of her videos• Stars used music videos to represent their star image and star power
Music Videos Today• Now, music videos have become commonplace in the music industry meaning that every song that makes it into the charts has a music video made• Sometimes the popularity of the video is enough to propel the song into the top 10
Promotional Tool…The purpose of a music video is to:1) Sell the song, and invoke a reaction so that the audience remember the song2) To give the audience a better understanding of the song3) To entertain and show off the artists talents4) To sell CDs, DVDs and downloads by creating memorable visuals5) Marketing for the purposes of exposure and expansion of the artist’s profile
In a nutshell• The music video promotes a song which in turn promotes an album• The main purpose is to sell an image of an artist• The overall purpose is to help to generate money for the record company
Selling an Image• Artists will set a certain mood in their video by attaching the song to certain experiences• Duran Duran Girls on Film features sexual and erotic imagery. Kevin Godley, the video’s director, agrees that the video was made to promote the song through sensationalism in order to get people talking about it• The concept of selling artists through image is carried by the record companies
Promoting an Artist• Gangnam Style• First online video to receive 1 billion hits• Won best video at MTV Europe Music Awards• Social networking held responsible for making the video popular on such an incredible scale• Led to possible collaboration opportunities for Psy with other artists e.g. Justin Bieber• Caused the share price of the record company to increase by 568.8%
An interesting quote“I don’t think there are any record companies now in the real sense of the word. We’re all in the fashion business. You used to be able to see records purely on music and musicianship. Now it’s packaging, media, television, and video”- Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records
Extension of income• Music videos can help to promote a band or artist long after the single or album has been released• Some artists are remembered years later solely because of a memorable music video
Extension of Outlets• In the past, music videos would be aired on TV shows such as the Chart Show and on music video channels such as MTV (interestingly not actually a music channel anymore!)• Labels work together with MTV to ensure the playing of their videos, leading to increased sales of only certain artists and genres
Active Audience• Now, audiences can actively look for the music videos that they want to watch• Word of mouth is important in the promotion of the video, especially on social networking sites• Controversial videos help to create a buzz and therefore be viewed more times.• This controversy might then be reported in the wider mainstream media leading to more exposure for the artist.
M.I.A.• Born Free video was banned from YouTube because it contained images of violence• ‘Gingers’ are hunted by soldiers, then beaten and shot. It was intended to speak out about the genocide and immigration issues in the U.S. and worldwide, and a response to the subsequent hysteria from M.I.A. concluded that “people are more moved by something synthetic than something real.”• Was nominated for Best Dance Video at UK Music Video Awards
Synergy• Where two areas of media work together• This can relate to a music star releasing a music video which feature scenes from a Hollywood movie• This helps to promote the film but also the artist as their song will feature in the film and probably the trailer which a wider number of people will see
• This can also help to cement ideas about the artist or acts star image.• Paramore’s Decode was the lead track from the Twilight New Moon soundtrack• This synergy will enable Paramore to reach a wide audience which is made up of teenage girls around the world,• Cements their image as alternative, moody and visually interesting• Official video gained 77 million views – the most they have received for a music video on YouTube
Synergy• Product placement is also a way for the record company and artist to generate income• Major label artists will certainly have product placement in their videos.• Lady Gaga’s Telephone video had numerous product placements including diet Coke, Virgin mobile, and Plenty of Fish dating site• Britney Spears Hold it Against Me had $500,000 worth of product placement!
Major Label Strategies• VEVO have a partnership with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. They host music videos on YouTube and use adverts at the start of the each video to produce revenue. This is good for music companies as it allows them to regulate the online distribution of their music videos and make money from it.• VEVO also have applications on many devices e.g. i-Pad. This allows many more people to access the content
Impact of YouTube views• December 2012 record labels were stripped of 2 billion video views• YouTube wants to combat ‘black hat’ view count- building techniques. This is when hackers artificially build up the numbers of views or likes on a YouTube video- enabling them to make clips more popular than they really are and increase exposure on the site• The number of views are regarded as an unofficial worldwide popular music chart
Independent Artists• Artists who are signed to small record labels or who are entirely independent do not have the budgets that their major label counterparts have.• The purpose of their videos is solely to increase interest in their music – there will be no product placement or many opportunities for synergy.• MTV embraces major labels and in turn makes their artists into stars.
• For bands that are signed onto very small independent labels the record company knows that if a video is made it will not make it onto mainstream television and therefore not be seen by very many people.• This means that a video may result in a bad return on an investment as not a lot of promotion will occur. This means that it is slightly rare to get indie music videos as the record companies do not want to take the risk, and if they do the video will have a very low budget.
Artists without a label• Because of the proliferation of hardware and cheap access to distribution outlets, it is easier today than ever before to make a music video and ensure that it reaches an audience• Bands or artists use social media as a way of reaching new audiences and creating a buzz• Velveteen• Frank Hamilton
Distinction• a fuller and more extensive explanation• better application of examples, and provision of argument to support points made• plus the higher quality expression, will discriminate between this grade and the merit.• Learners will justify points made using supporting arguments or evidence, develop ideas critically
For example…• One of the greatest advantages of music videos is that they enable the performer to be seen on TV when they are not actually performing. Obviously you can’t play music on TV without anything happening on the screen so the video was developed to give viewers something to watch whilst listening to the song. This extends the playability of the track considerably. Sometimes the video goes a stage further and becomes a cult item in its own right. It’s more than likely that Robert Palmer’s song Addicted to Love would be forgotten by now, were it not for the video.
AO2What are the styles,conventions andtechniques of musicvideos?
Aims• Styles: popular music genres; in-concert and ‘as live’ footage; animation (stop motion, digital); interpretative; narrative; impressionist; surrealist; pastiche; parody; referencing; homage; influence of commercials• Conventions: lyric interpretation; extending or consolidating song’s meaning; allusion; links to other artists• Techniques: cutting to beat; effects; miming and lip sync; playback and lip sync; multi-mage; camera movements; camera angles; chroma key
Andrew Goodwin – In your intro• A relationship between the lyrics and visuals (illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the lyrics)• A relationship between music and visuals• Particular genres may have their own video style and iconography• A demand from the record company for lots of close-ups of the main artist• Artist develops their own star iconography in and out of their videos• Reference to voyeurism (screen within screen, binoculars, cameras…)• Intertextual references
Music genres• Different music genres tend to have their own styles in their videos• They may all share conventions in a general sense but they find different ways to promote the artist and appeal to different audiences.
Hip Hop• Locations tend to be a party or club location• Use of alcohol• Recognised brands and clothing• Diisplays of wealth e.g. fast cars, jewelllery, large homes• Attractive women/sexual dancing• Daylight rather than night. Where night is used it is contrasted with bright interior shots• Male artists represented as having power and women fawning over them• Does not tend to follow a storyline but based around a theme and performance
• Male artists tend to perform to camera, interacting with it as though singing to the audience• Frequent close ups of artists performing• Exaggerated dance moves are performed by women to accentuate the female form and their sexuality, and by men to accentuate their virility and masculinity• Studio sets are minimalist, using monochrome colour schemes• Low angled shots to emphasise the dominance of male artists
Rock• Males are usually the subjects, women the objects• The use of dark colours• The use of night rather than daylight• On-stage performances in from of screaming crowds• Backstage footage• Gestures of male bonding - high-fiving, back slapping...• The playing of guitars• Costumes are dark coloured, often baggy, casual clothing• Close ups of soulful singing into a microphone or to camera• The justaposition of binaries of light vs dark
• The use of tracking/crabbing/panning shots, lots of movement• Fast paced editing• Montage shots of industrial/urban landscapes• Close-up shots of vocalist during emotional moments• Close-up shots of instrumentalists hands playing instruments• Use of heavy shadow• Heavy use of visual symbolism• Wide shot of the band together, signifying unity, a tightly knit- group• The use of slow-motion• The use of studio backlighting• Cross-cutting to a narrative performed by characters other than members of the band
Possible structure1. Describe and explain the conventions of music videos with two examples to illustrate your ideas2. Describe and explain the use of referencing in music videos with an example for each. Go further by explaining WHY artists use intertextuality3. Describe and explore the stylistic conventions of two different genres e.g. rock and hip hop, with an example for each