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

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Music vid renaissance...for the biggest acts

The big budget music video died with Michael Jackson's reign as king of pop, as the music industry faced up to the disruptive impact of digitization.
Consumer/fan-made videos are widely used by the industry, and lo-fi official videos are not uncommon.
BUT, in some cases this established narrative is being undermined.

Film-maker Romain Gavras’s cinematic vision for Jamie xx’s Gosh – which features a cast of 400 people and eschewed CGI and 3D effects – came with one instruction for its viewers: fully immerse yourselves in the apocalyptic experience. “Please watch full-screen with loud speakers or headphones,” Gavras tweeted on its release this month. The video was a moment, rolled out for a track that was originally released more than a year ago. It’s a track that really doesn’t need a music video, let alone a physical copy, designed to look like a knock-off DVD, of a 40-second trailer for said video, which was delivered to journalists days before its official premiere.
At a time when the music world is still dealing with illegal downloads and streaming culture, such an ostentatious approach to promoting an old song may appear incongruous. But thanks to the power of a small number of elite artists, music videos are having a renaissance and once more becoming events in themselves, the way they were when Michael Jackson released Thriller or Madonna put out Erotica. Some are cinematic: BeyoncĂ©’s visual album Lemonade, which is set to sweep the board at this year’s MTV Video Music awards; Rihanna’s Sledgehammer, the first video shot using solely Imax cameras. Others, such as David Bowie and Radiohead, have engaged with a new demographic using short, shareable Instagram vignettes.
Major artists and their labels are again spending serious money on music videos. However, unlike a few years ago, when the likes of Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus were going for the shock factor, artists are taking artistic, inventive approaches. When they do try to provoke outrage – as with Kanye West’s Famous or Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money – it’s a step beyond Blurred Lines or Wrecking Ball.
How the pop video got weird again.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

PopUp site: Alice takes Whitehouse pill

The site shows one side of the diversifying approach of artists in the digital era - here's another, the mock election campaign of Alice Cooper (Wiki):
Visit site.
Such satire works as smart branding and PR for an artist that released his first album back in 1969 - fans will be familiar with his song Elected, but there is enough here to encourage wide (viral) spreading of the link or just the main poster with the manifesto - including a younger demographic than his primary fanbase.

See LoudWire.

(and here's a new note on the merch issue:)

I mention beer as a great example of merch below - you can buy both Slayer and Iron Maiden beer in Luxembourg (Auchan), and Motorhead, plus some other branded wine/spirits if I recall correctly. That this is now a common strategy, especially in heavy metal, can be seen from a simple google ('heavy metal beer').See this Pinterest for a gallery (pic, right comes from it):

Friday, 15 July 2016

Teaser video, VR, crowdfunding, fan engagement - Megadeth are exemplary

social media can be enigmatic...
IN THIS POST:  a quick look at some examples of how Megadeth, a band whose debut album was in 1985, use multiple platforms to engage with existing fans and seek new ones, generating media coverage along the way. Any music video producer can learn from their strategic approach. As I can't access FB + other sites while writing this, I've used limited examples, but you can always look further yourselves.

If you're producing a music video you really should seek to engage with an audience long before you've got to the final cut stage.

Blogging does that to some extent, but being active on social media (Instagram, Twitter, FB...), posting snippets and updates of what you've been doing, should be part of that mix, generating content for a website in turn.

Just as film has the trailer, so many artists are now creating their own (often put out on record company YouTube channels) trailers (see Slayer example on this blog) and even teasers, as with this example from Megadeth (featured in a popular e-zine; marketing involves a mix of social media and publications/channels - such content will typically generate lots of articles in magazines, e-zines, radio...):
Bing (yuck) results galore, showing the success of the strategy to generate attention

Megadeth are an act skilled in keeping a buzz going, over 30 years since their debut album - they're engaging with VR (and note the serializing of the feature too, drip-feeding segments):
Official Megadeth YT channel.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

INDUSTRY No Swift end to YouTube fees war

An ongoing story to keep an eye on, the fight between artists and streaming outlets such as YouTube and Spotify over the fees or royalties paid. Counted for chart positions now, there is a fierce debate over the equity of the huge revenues generated for the likes of YouTube and the very, very small payments all but the very largest artists receive.

Taylor Swift has been notably outspoken in calling for increased payments per stream. See Taylor Swift is taking on YouTube, and it won’t be an easy fight.