The Music Video as Public Relations

Make your brand match your record’s message visually. It should be uniquely distinct, conceptual, clearly identify what the music sounds like and exceptionally visually appealing. Your brand is your music at first glance.

—Cari Cole, celebrity vocal coach &

new music business mentor

While just seen as diversion that many engage in, watching music videos cannot only consume a lot of time but they are one of the main reasons artists sell music, and in today’s market, the video competes with not only those that are on conventional cable channels, but also ones that are streamed online by millions of people worldwide.

…But, really, are music videos necessary in the digital age?

In a not so distant past, you might have sat around the television and flipped to one of the major video channels (MTV, VH1 or BET) only to eat up hours watching countless videos. Whether the videos were on rotation on any one of the plethora of programs, you waited and waited to see your choice video, and if they did not happen to play it, you had to wait.

But you did wait….

You waited in anticipation to see the images the band set to music. Within these three or four minute videos, artists did a number of things to attract the viewer. As your favorite artists belted out their tune, you paid attention to what they wore, how they styled their hair and make-up, and other props that made the video the video. Basically, the music video was the only factor connecting the music to the band.

Flash forward….

Today, with the numerous social media and other online site, you could essentially sell music online while gaining exposure through more traditional routes. However, the music video also plays a vital role in selling music.

…Setting trends

Music videos are the one place where fashion and lifestyle trends are set. Some of the most memorable trends include videos featuring Swarovski, Burberry, Nokia cell phone, Volvo and a million other products.

More significantly, the music video is a platform for artists to introduce new acts and give props to underground movements.

Creating the brand…

Music videos shape the image of the artists. Regardless of the track, your audience looks to the artists for cues not only on the latest fashion and lifestyle trends but also to see if the message in the music matches the artist.

Presenting opportunities for interactivity….

In the past, music videos were made and we watched and watched them. IF we did get the chance to go to see the live act, there was the slight chance that you might get an autograph if you could steal a spot backstage. That was as much interactivity as you were going to get, though.

Music lovers today can visit an artist’s social media site and comment on any number of topics. If the artist chooses, they can engage their publics as well. In addition to social media sites, some artists have chosen to make their videos interactive to compete with the variety of available music online.

…And creativity

If you spend time looking through videos from long gone eras like the eighties and nineties, you will find there is a stark difference just terms of cinematography between earlier videos and today’s. Not only that, technology has given artists leeway in creating videos to their own tastes, whether they are very expensive, artsy, or just your garden variety everybody-in-the-club videos.

Finally, career promotion….

Music videos not only promote the careers of the artists, but those who work on the video from stylists to videographers get their start working with some of the most famous acts.

For contemporary musicians,

The music video still mattersThe video is a promotional tool that speaks in a million ways to the audience by filling out missing material lyrics do not always convey. For artists, the video is the opportunity to pull in their listeners which ultimately translates into sales.


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