Home » Screen, Sounds, Spotlight

Are Music Videos Even Worth It Anymore?

Submitted by on July 29, 2013 – 1:47 pm2 Comments
Share

“…the day that you play me will be the same day MTV play videos” – Kanye West

Back when I was growing up (in the 90s), music videos were all the rage. In many cases, they were more hotly anticipated than the songs themselves and could add interest and promotional value exponentially.

However, in recent years, networks (such as VH1, MTV, and BET) that once based their programming around airing music videos, have all but abandoned them for utter foolishness reality television shows and scripted programming.

Basically, it’s hard to catch a music video on television these days. Of course, people can watch them on YouTube and/or VEVO, but do those views necessarily translate into sales for the artist?

Kanye West and Jay Z both released subpar and mediocre, respectively #1 albums without music videos. West recently released a video on his website for “Black Skinhead” and The Formerly Hyphenated Artist will release “Picasso Baby” on HBO as an art film.

Here’s the question: With networks rarely playing music videos anymore and artists clearly selling records without them, is there any need for a label (or an artist, independent or otherwise) to spend money producing them anymore?

Maybe Jay Z is changing the game by releasing his latest one as an art film on a major TV network, but how many artists would be able to replicate that? Furthermore, is it necessary when Samsung had already spent $5 million for the record that 528,000 iPhone users bought the first week of its release?

Beyond that, are music videos losing significance in general or only in hip-hop? That is, would you still buy music from artists like Usher or Chris Brown if they didn’t pull off dazzling dance moves in almost every frame?

I have no answers to these questions, but it might not be too surprising to see labels and artists moving away from music videos as we’ve come to know them and toward other means of promoting their albums and singles.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

2 Comments »

  • Tony Kaye says:

    Hey Chris,

    Thought provoking article, but how do you account for the billions of views that music videos receive on youtube? It seems that they are more watched online than they ever were on MTV/BET.

  • This is true, but my question is this: why even pay for the videos that get views on the Internet if you can sell millions of records without them?
    Do the YouTube views necessarily translate into music purchases?

    Look at Kendrick Lamar. He’s never had a “hit video” that was a serious big deal event. In fact, he never even had singles that got the type of radio spins of most artists considered stars and he moved platinum units.

    It just seems like a waste of money at this point to do them when you can sell records without them.

    Folks just don’t seem so excited about them anymore, maybe because there hasn’t been too much in the way of innovation. “Power” by Kanye West was one of the most innovative music videos of the last 10 years in my opinion.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS. Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

We want to keep in touch with you. If you give us your email address, you may receive marketing emails from the DJ Networks family. We hope that's cool.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.