What is a music video?
• A music video is a short film which incorporates a song
and imagery, together and is produced for promotional or
• Music videos today are primarily made and used as
marketing devices, which are intended to promote the
sale of music for various artists.
• The origins of the music video dates back to early 20th
century and become very important in the 1980s, when
MTV a music TV channel was launched and based their
format around the medium of music videos.
• Before the 1980s, music videos were described as
"illustrated song", "filmed insert", "promotional (promo)
film", "promotional clip" or "film clip".
Techniques used in
• Music videos use a wide range of styles of film
making techniques, including animation, live action
filming, documentaries, and non-narrative
approaches such as abstract film.
• Some music videos blend different styles together,
for example animation and live action.
• Many music videos do not translate any images
from the song's lyric.
• Other music videos may be without a set concept,
being merely a filmed version of the song's live
Music Video Audiences
• The way music videos have been watched by
audiences has changed over time and can be
summarized into three main sources;
3. 1920’s – 1950’s - seen mainly in musical films
6. 1960’s – 1990’s – seen mainly on TV on TV shows
like Top of the Pops and TV channels like MTV
9. 2000 + – seen mainly on the Internet from sites like
How music Videos have
• The author ‘Saul Austerlitz’ suggests in his book ‘Money
for Nothing: A History of the Music Video ’. The music
video made its climaxes in the 90’s with big blockbuster
clips from the biggest acts like Gun N’ Roses, Michael
Jackson, Madonna and Aerosmith grabbing the last
moments of the music video’s culture significance.
• He also suggests music videos raised the profile of other
genres like Hip-Hop and alternative rock which
transformed the era of music video with giving credit to
the directors firsts seen in 1992 when credits like movie
credits were seen at the end of music videos.
• This made careers for the directors of music videos,
directors like, Spike Jonze and Hype Williams.
Connecting with audiences
in the 21st century
• The era of YouTube and blogs have revolutionized
the way the audiences see music videos and
interaction between bands, directors and fans.
• In 2010 Lady Gaga’s music video views reaching
one billion views.
• Her song ‘Poker Face’ sees 375 million alone
around the world the views of watching music
videos online reached 34 billion.
• In the month of May there was an
• estimated 183 million views.
• 1941: A new invention hits clubs and
bars in the USA. The invention is
called a jukebox that plays short
video clips along with the music.
• 1956: Hollywood discovers the genre
of music-centered films. Then a wave
of rock'n'roll films begins which
includes; Rock Around the Clock,
Don't Knock the Rock, Shake, Rattle
and Rock, Rock Pretty Baby, The Girl
Can't Help It, and Elvis Presley.
• Some of these films integrated
musical performances from the
• 1962: British Television
creates an original form of
music television. Shows like
Top Of The Pops, Ready!
Steady! Go! and Oh, Boy
became huge hits.
• 1964: The US-Television
market adapts the idea of
music shows. ‘Hullabaloo’ is
one of the first music shows to
come on US Television. Then
followed by ‘Shindig!’ and
‘American Bandstand’. The
Beatles star in ‘A Hard Day's
• 1965: The Beatles video tape ten black and white
films, which are used as promotional videos for
their album releases. This kicks off the new wave
of artist’s promotion their songs through video.
• 1966: The first theoretical promos are aired, for
the Beatles' "Paperback Writer" and "Rain". Early
in 1967, even more ambitious videos are released
for "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever".
• 1968: The Rolling Stones collaborate with Jean-
Luc Goddard on Sympathy for the Devil
• 1970: The record industry discovers these music
shows on TV as a great opportunity to promote
their artists and their music. So the record
industry focused on producing short "Promos",
early music videos, which started to replace the
live performance of the artist on the TV-stage.
• 1975: The Queen track "Bohemian Rhapsody"
became a music video and was a ground-breaking
music video. Which was released by Queen
marked the beginning of the video era and set the
• 1979: Devo releases "The
Day My Baby Gave Me a
Surprise". This music
video was the first music
video to include computer
animation and traditional
• 1980: "Ashes to Ashes"
which is considered as a
ground-breaking video is
released by David Bowie.
• 1981: The music video
‘Video Killed the Radio
Star’ by The Buggles airs
on MTV as the first shown
• 1981: MTV, the first 24-
hour satellite music
channel, launches and it
rapidly became a major
hit and cultural icon.
• 1981: Michael Nesmith wins the first ever
music video Grammy with Elephant Parts.
• 1983: Night Tracks debuted on Superstation
WTBS with up to 14 hours of music videos
each weekend by 1985. This allowed nearly
all U.S. households with Cable TV to view
music videos regularly as MTV still wasn't
as widely available.
• 1983: Friday Night Videos debuted on the
US network channel NBC television
network, allowing nearly all U.S. households
to view music videos regularly.
• 1984: Michael Jackson's short film Thriller
is released, changing the concept of music
videos forever. The Making of Thriller home
video was also released in 1984. It was the
first ever video about the making of a music
video and gave the fans access to behind
the scenes of music videos.
from Peter Gabriel, is
• 1991: Nirvana release the "Smells Like Teen
Spirit" video changing the MTV platform from
glam rock to alternative rock, and catapulting
grunge and Kurt Cobain into the American and
Worldwide mainstream. This allowed different
types of music video to be played.
• 1992: MTV begins to give credit to the directors
of music videos.
• 1992: Guns N' Roses's ground-breaking video for
"November Rain" is released and remains as one
of the costliest ever produced.
• 1995: The music video ‘Scream’ was ranked the
most expensive music video of all time, costing
£7 million to produce. This music video was
directed by Mark Romanek and the artists were
Michael and Janet Jackson.
• 2005: iTunes makes it possible for
listings, viewings and downloading
television shows, full-length movies
and music videos. Then 20 days later
music video downloads reached 1
• 2005 YouTube was launched.
• 2006: The Norwegian unsigned band
Rektor makes the world’s first
playable videogame music video
• 2010: Around the world the views of
watching music videos reached 34
billion. In the month of May there was
an estimated 183 million views.