Purpose/History of Music Videos

The Purpose of Music Videos:    

Music Videos are made for a whole host of reasons:

  • To help the artist’s and band’s tracks be heard globally, on a mass scale.
  •  To help promote the band, providing a visual representation of the band.
  • To ensure people remember the song and video
  • Music Videos are a platform for film makers – film makers associated with artist
  • To invoke a reaction
  • To provide the audience with an incentive to see the band live
  • To lead to more sales and longevity of the artist
  • They’re used for an extension of income, keeping the artist or band in the public eye, after the album release. Ideally racking up sales of their album.
  • To link a song to a Film/TV series e.g Chris Cornell’s – ‘You know my name’ , which features on the Casino Royale Soundtrack has footage from the film. When people think of the film they’ll be reminded of the song as well.
  • entertainment purposes.

The History of Music Videos

The Beatles spent 2 days filming one of the first ever real music videos, in 1976, for their song ‘Strawberry Fields’. The video was a huge hit and it lead to more bands and artists desperately wanting their own music video.For the video, they borrowed techniques from underground and avant garde films. Reversed film, slow motion, dramatic lighting and unusual camera angles can all be seen in the video.

The popularity of music videos really started to increase in the 80s, MTV ( (a tv channel that broadcasts popular and promotional videos) launched in 1981. The first music video played on it was ‘Video killed the radio star’ by The Buggles. Having a music video meant you had a means to ensure your music was heard of all over the world. The majority of videos produced were for British acts, which is why in the 80s, there was an increasing number of British acts in the American Charts. Which is a perfect example of the importance and impact of music videos.

Top of the Pops is a music chart TV show made by the BBC, it’s the longest-running pop music show in Britain. The format was simple and effective and remains surprisingly popular, many other shows have mimicked it’s format.  It was first brought to the screens of the nation on New Year’s Day 1964 and was presented by Jimmy Savile.  The show was all filmed live, shockingly all the acts were actually miming their songs! The first edition features amazing, popular acts like the Beatles, Dusty Springfield and The Rolling Stones.  The 1970s were when the show’s viewing figures were at an all time high, with 15 million people tuning in. The show’s growing reliance on pre-recorded material that began in the late 80s lead to decreasing viewing numbers. The programme ran on TV until 2006 and then moved to the airwaves as a radio show, hosted by Tony Blackburn. The plummeting single sales, Youtube and Music Channels killed Top of the Pops because the public became familiar with ‘in demand’ and free music.  The last ever episode aired on 30th July, which is a tragedy because I remember watching it as a kid. It’s how we heard about new music and it was exciting to see the ‘live acts’.  Despite the end of the show, there is still a TOTPs magazine, full of information about the up and coming music and chart hits, along side juicy celebrity gossip and fashion & beauty advice. The target audience for the magazine is teenage girls.

Ofcom  Ofcom are responsible for making sure no harmful or offensive music videos are broadcast before the watershed, to protect under eighteens from material that is unsuitable for them. They also ensure no explicit language is broadcast before the watershed.

Outputs:  How do we recieve/view music videos? / How do producers reach their audiences?/ How do we get music videos?

Producers have various different mediums they can reach their audience through.  Most people have mobile phones they can watch music videos on, so if the videos are made downloadable people will carry them around with them on their phones. Many phones have apps with which they can view music videos, producers can explore multi-platform formats (like we’ve seen for films and television shows) creating an application for the artist. The band or artist can have a DVD with all of their music videos on, to be sold in music shops.Music Channels, like MTV and Kerrang!TV are constantly streaming music videos.Artists can load their videos onto a MySpace page or Facebook (or other social network site).Enhanced CDs can contain music videos as well as the audio tracks.Television shows such as RudeTube, air unusual and memorable videos in their shows. If there is something particularly special about the video or it has gone viral, it could be aired on there.YouTube, has revolutionised the Outputs of Music Videos. We can also download Music Videos from iTunes

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