Saturday, March 18, 2017

The State Of Music Videos: 2017 | Music Think Tank

Video still provided by Off The Vine Productions, Boise, Idaho. 2017

Is the Art Form Gone?

Remember the days of MTV playing actual music videos? Maybe this separates a lot of musicians in generation, this age gap when music videos seemed to mean something. Perhaps they didn’t mean anything at all, aside from expensive productions, rented out mansions, and a budget backed single on a massive major label. Aside from recanting the past, things in the music industry have obviously changed. What hasn’t been addressed though is the market for making music videos. 

Attention Span 

The consumption of entertainment media is at an all time high, and it’s easier than ever to find exactly what you’re looking for. Not long ago did we live in a world where buying a sixty dollar import CD seemed out for the question, that is if you were looking for something particularly rare to suite your tastes. now, Youtube has us looking it up and within our hands in seconds, and did we mention it’s free? There’s no waiting for Christmas. 



With the average American dedicating four hours of their day toward music consumption (or listening if we’re dropping the technicalities) there must be room to discover new artists via the music video format. Especially when the Edison study shows 5.2% coming in form music videos. Compound this with the presence of site like Vevo that thrive solely on the basis of new music videos. This Vevo company also features only the most prominent of artists as well. You’ll be seeing high budget music videos from major label artists here. However, younger artists are starting to get privy to the music industry. 

Checking the Right Boxes

Digital music distribution is on the rise. As mentioned before, services like Vevo, Spotify, and Pandora, are leading the pack in music streaming. An artist who wants to get involved in distributing via channels like this needs to understand their legal rights first before approaching a distribution company.If you’re an independent artist, the last thing you’ll want to do is sign away the ownership over works written by your band or yourself.  

 Video still provided by Off The Vine Productions, Boise, Idaho. 2017


Secondly, you’ll need to create a video for one of your songs. Ideally, this should be the single. But you can get creative, mix in an ambient track from the album, create short cuts of two tracks and blend them together with an interlude but just remember that rap about short attention spans, “people ain’t got the time any mo”.

Realistically, the difficult aspect of this ordeal is making the video. Look into local companies that can provide results based work and consultation. An artist or even a local company wants  to see results that correlate with their business model. Look into video production companies that have backgrounds in audio production and advertising so you can understand the extent of their ability. Local production companies will always be an affordable option, and ensures results that surpass your DIY abilities.

The Agenda

Still, there’s never been a better time for home video production. The bottom line to consider is the overall budget of digital distribution, and understand the principal of quality. 

If an artist can save up to produce something of higher quality, in the end, the return will significantly improve. Music videos are especially true of this. The impression of a professionally made video is much more likely to stay on the screen versus something made on iMovie. Sites like Vevo also have a set of qulity control guidelines. Although it’s not the free-for-all of Youtube, this is a much more regulated market for sharing musiv videos, and the liklihood of actually increasing viewership is higher in a portla like Vevo or Pandora, where the music distributed is of a more commercial quality.

Commercial quality actually speaks to the notion that the artists here have distribution deals, rather than just having a high success rate or top chart singles. If we were to project a few years from now, sites like Vevo and Pandora, which currently feature artists like Bon Jovi, Black Sabbath, all the way to Lorde, is due to commercial success. These niche sites only deliver commercial music rather than say, Soundcloud, which features independant and artist-only uploads.

Basically, if you want to break into the market at large you need a quality production, and using a budget wisely is the most pertinent desicion one can make.



  • Develop quality music you can get behind
  • Create a budget plan
  • Find a production company in your area
  • Solidify a music distribution plan (And know your rights)
  • Create a music video that grabs the attention of the viewer
  • Find your niche in the market and act now!



Music Isolation Tank is a writer/zine based in the Pacific Northwest that is asking the questions about music that some find difficult to ask. Follow them on Twitter @musicisolationtank







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