Creativity and Fan Engagement Will Dictate the Future of Music Videos

Creativity and Fan Engagement Will Dictate the Future of Music Videos

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In 1975 the music video for Bohemian Rhapsody was released, and almost instantly revolutionised the way that people would henceforth consume music. No longer would music be about the sense of hearing, from now on a new way of enjoying your favourite bands was born. To galvanize this further, in 1981 the launch of ‘music television’ in the form of MTV gave creative license to budding directors the world over, giving film its seat at the table with popular music.

This effect has been replicated online, a naturally visual medium, and on YouTube music videos are counted amongst the most watched categories. In the UK, reportedly 57% of those with Internet connections are streaming music videos through their computer (7% rise YoY) with 50% doing so in the US, as identified in the Audio and Video Streaming in focus Nielsen white paper.

Music Video in an Engaging Portal: Online

Naturally then, a number of leading players are creating YouTube channels specifically for music videos. The most prominent is VEVO, which not only hosts videos on their main channel, but also set up separate channels for music genres (rock, rap, pop etc) and individual artists, such as Rihanna’s VEVO channel, shown below:


Somewhere between the affordability of equipment that enables most run-of-the-mill budding videographers to create high-quality, professional looking video, and the creativity of the online environment, has manifested in a reinvention of what we would normally define as the music video. While there is a fair argument as to how this translates into profits (or sales) for that artist, you can be certain that not creating an enticing 3 minute visual spectacle would put you in a significantly worse off position.

music video engagement

(Audio and Video Streaming in Focus Nielsen white paper)

Creativity Drives Engagement

Some of the best examples of creative uses of online video have, in some ways been directly accountable for the rise in success of some artists. While being able to correlate exact sales figures with the proportionate level of engagement, as a marketer, it’s hard to ignore that video as a medium has contributed to a number of artists success, some examples include:

Walk off the Earth – Somebody That I Used to Know (Gotye Cover)

Which has tallied up some 150 million views.

OK Go –  Here It Goes Again

OK Go is actually arguably more famous for their music videos than for their music, and have just launched a competition for a fan to create their next music video for them!

The refreshing thing about this is that, by its very nature, online video encourages social interaction. Much like MTV pioneered over 20 years ago, music videos are made for people to talk about. What’s very exciting to see is that some bands have embraced this, crowdsourcing their content to actually create the video themselves, such as: The Vaccines, Royksopp, and Daft Punk.

The Vaccines – Wetsuit

The Vaccines ran an Instagram competition to have submitted photos featured in the video itself.

Crowdsourcing Creativity

As is known amongst the ReelSEO community, the problem that most people face when considering creating online video is cost. However, by reaching out to the public (or the fans) of a given band you can implement ramification tactics to help promote your efforts and increase uptake. A key target market for many music artists, those born between early 80s and mid-90s, known as the ‘Generation Y’, are not only a significant proportion of the active online audience but are driven by a ‘game-like’ mentality that applies to many aspects of their life (shown somewhat in Gen Y MTV research)

So why not apply some of the smarter tactics used by campaigns like:

  • OK Go’s competition for a fan to create their next music video
  • The Vaccines creating a music video from user submitted images (via Instagram)
  • Royskopp allowing users to pick and choose tracks from their instrumental album ‘Senior’ to arrange in their individual preferred way (an effort that was also backed up by a competition on to direct a video for the album).

Or, if you’re feeling particularly daring, why not come up with something as ingenious as DO NOT TOUCH, a crowdsourced music video that, in it’s own words, celebrates: “…the nearing end of the computer cursor with an ever-changing music video where all our cursors can be seen together for one last time”.

do not touch 1 do not touch 2

The video, which is certainly well worth a watch is by Dutch band Light Light and changes every 7 minutes! Huge hat tip to Dutch agency Moniker.

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September 2018

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