Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Friday, 21 November 2014

AUDIENCE: YouGov survey on fans' demographics

Conal cites this in his vodcast.
With thanks to Conal (who spotted this through Twitter and Instagram accounts/feeds linked to his joint Lady Gaga production before I heard about it through reading the Guardian report the next day!), here's a really useful resource for adding some detail to audience research.
Magazine publishers' audience profiles are more accurate, if not always so detailed as this, but the YouGov data, which takes in some major artists as well as covering a variety of media (such as newspaper readerships), is certainly worth a look.

I do question its validity/accuracy though ... are Lady Gaga fans really primarily 40/50-somethings?! The samples can be quite small ... as an Adam Ant fan, for example, I can't say as I recognised myself in the profile thrown up! (FYI YouGov, I'm not a S*n reader!)

The media tab of YouGov's demographic profile of Lady Gaga fans ... apparently older, right-wing S*n readers?!

Monday, 17 November 2014

GENDER: Women less successful on Kickstarter?

Some useful data here in a survey reporting on the comparative levels of success of male/female Kickstarter appeals; females feature in none/1 of top ten most successful appeals across a range of media categories, and female teams fare significantly less well than male teams. However, the report also notes that females often look for smaller amounts (<$5k) and are just as successful in this limited range; females often look specifically to friend and family circles, potentially limiting the scale/ambition of appeals.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


This vodcast includes a top ten common conventions of music magazine ads for digipak albums, research tips, student examples, and more.

DIGIPAK vodcast

A vodcast taking you through some common conventions (a top ten), looking at some of the relevant videos on YouTube (company demos, fan vids, Photoshop guides, coursework Evaluations), research tips, and how this fits into a wider promotional package incorporating a music video, CD/DVD digipak sleeve and magazine ads for the digipak.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Richard Dyer's star system

This is a simple but highly useful audience/narrative theory, which also reflects standard marketing thinking (question 1 a potential distributor will ask of a film production: who's the star?). Richard Dyer's (Amazon book list) landmark 1979 book Stars argued that the star system was central to how the media operate, and how we read texts. Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society (his 1986 follow-up) used case studies of Hollywood icons from the golden era, examining 'the ways in which audiences simultaneously construct and consume a particular star's persona' (Wiki). You might see parallels here with much later web 2.0 theorists such as Gauntlett and Gillmor and such declarations as "the former audience" (see this post for associated material on this).

The point here is that your text's narrative extends well beyond the film opening, 4 minute video, or even the wider promotional package.

I thought about this when reading a Film Guardian feature on Tom Cruise and director Christopher Nolan's insistence on diegetic as opposed to CGI stunts:
It goes deeper still though, into the weird contract we draw up with ourselves when we watch film. “Tom Cruise is doing that for real!” we exclaim to ourselves as we see Tom Cruise doing some casual rappelling. “Whoa!” We never truly watch blockbusters as pure narratives, but instead are constantly aware in their place in a wider ecosystem of celebrity, in which Cruise also has divorces and jumps on sofas and twinkles next to fans. We’re in awe of Cruise-as-Hunt rather than Hunt himself. (Tom Cruise, Christopher Nolan, and the new anti-CGI snobbery)
The excellent MediaKnowItAll site has a useful entry on this, considering not just the film angle but also how the music industry inculcates this approach to its modes of operation:
A star is an image not a real person that is constructed (as any other aspect of fiction is) out of a range of materials (eg advertising, magazines etc as well as films [music]).  
Their entry is copied in below, but is best appreciated on their site, where you can also click around and find further useful material.

Monday, 3 November 2014

DIGIPAK video resources: company guides, fan vids, tutorials, Evaluations...

IN THIS POST: Gaga and other fanatics' vids on their digipaks; commercial demos of what a digipak looks like and multi-panel options; examples of student Evaluation vids going through the steps of creating their digipaks; Adobe Photoshop and After Effects tutorials. First up, a vodcast featuring elements of these. See also: this post gathers together past posts/links.

Having just finished a vodcast on magazine ads for digipaks, I was having a quick look at what's on YouTube on the topic of digipaks ... and came across this, part of the phenomenon of UGC that Lady Gaga has masterfully exploited/encouraged, a rather worshipful rundown of a Gaga digipak - even the comments below largely reflect this serious, dedicated tone. To me, quite bizarre, to the 'Little Monsters' a nice expression of their community identity - but overall no odder than the YouTube-leading content of gamers' musings.

Its not just LG fans that engage in this; this chap, a metalhead, has a few smackdowns he wants to lay down on digipaks (with some strong language) ... and he's not the only one! (Good call on Nuclear Assault's Survive, 'DissonantReviews', classic!)

Here's a simple 37-sec demo of a 6-panel digipak: