Music Video Research

What is the main purpose of a music video?/Why do producers make music videos?
  • Promotion/Advertising
  • Explores different aspects of the Artist
  • Artistic Purposes
Producers make music videos to not only get the artists work out there but to get their own work out there.  They also make music videos to explore different aspects of different artists.
How do we view and receive music videos?
We receive music videos in many different ways, the main source of viewing music videos is YouTube. We also receive/view music videos through different websites, e.g. the artists website, fan websites. Another way of receiving music videos is through social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, MySpace, Vimeo etc.  You can also view music videos on Television, on music channels such as MTV, Viva, 4Music, Kiss etc.  A recent way of viewing music videos is Apps on smart phones, for example the Vevo music video App on the iTouch/iPhone.  However the most popular and well known source of viewing/receiving music videos is on YouTube as artists can upload their videos for everyone to see.
Fact: At the moment the most popular music video on YouTube is Justin Bieber- Baby with 655,361,005 views.
**Update: The video now has 737,861,787 views.
How do producers reach their audience?
Producers reach their audience by advertising the music video with teasers, trailers and publicize it through social networking sites to let people aware.  They also show the behind the scenes of the music video to show the viewer what more is to come.

Role of MTV

MTV were the first music channel. Their first music broadcast was ‘ Video killed the radio star’ By The Buggles.

MTV (Music Television)

MTV launched in august 1981 having the original purpose of playing music videos. Overtime MTV has started to not only play music videos but produce TV shows such as:

  • 16 And Pregnant
  • Geordie Shore
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Plain Jane
  • Super Sweet 16
  • The Hills
  • Team Mom
  • Awkward

and many more.  Not only do these show in the US, they show in the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa.  As well as showing different programmes, MTV have a range of different channels such as:

  • MTV Music
  • MTV Base
  • MTV Hits
  • MTV Dance
  • MTV Rocks
  • MTV Classic

These channels show different genres of music and they all have their own chart shows throughout the week and they focus on the specific genre that the music channel is based on.

Top of the Pops

Top of the Pops was a TV show that broadcasted from the 60’s-2006. Each week it featured different artists performing their latest songs Top of the Pops started on January 1st 1964; the show was shot live and in its first edition featured The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield and The Hollies. In the 1970s artists such as; John Lennon, Jackson 5, David Bowie, ABBA, Queen and Blondie appeared on the TV show. In the 80s the likes of Adam and the Ants, The Smiths, Culture Club, Bucks Fizz and Duran Duran were featured. In the 90s Vanilla Ice, Take That, Oasis and Blur appeared and in the noughties famous artists such as Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Five, Kylie Minogue, Destiny’s Child, Avril Lavigne, Will Young, Westlife, Blazin’ Squad and Beyoncé were shown, giving them extra publicity. The TOTP’s magazine was also released in the 90s showing all the charts, artist releases and celebrity gossip, which is still running to this day. The TV show ran from 1964 and sadly stopped broadcasting in 2006. Whilst TOTP was running, people relied on it to hear the latest songs and the charts.

Why do we have music videos?

  • To make money
  • To entertain people
  • To put a story to a song
  • To help create an image/style for the artist
  • Platform for film makers
  • Make message obvious to the audience
  • To promote music visually
  • Express emotions
  • Better understanding of the song
  • Give the producer a reputation

Music Genres:

  • Pop – Commercially recorded popular music (young audience)
  • R&B – (Rhythm and blues) popular African American music
  • Hip Hop – style of US black music featuring rap/electronic backing
  • Rock – genre of popular music (evolved from rock and roll)
  • Rap –music in which lyrics are chanted to a musical accompaniment
  • Classical – includes forms of music such as symphony & sonata
  • Country / Western – American music style with roots from western cowboy/folk
  • Folk – music that originates in traditional popular culture
  • Electronic – music created using synthesizers and other electronic instruments
  • Reggae – includes strongly accented subsidiary beat
  • Metal – genre of rock music with roots in blues/psychedelic rock
  • Garage – genre of electronic dance music
  • Drum&Bass – type of dance music mainly consisting of electronic drums and bass
  • Dubstep – genre of electronic dance music with an emphasis on beats
  • Dance – electronic dance music (purpose of use -within a nightclub setting)
  • Opera – art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and music score

and many more such as alternative, indie, grunge, soul, jazz and blues.

Analysis of Music Videos

1) 

Sugarland-Stuck Like Glue

Genre: Country and Western

  • Instruments –Guitar – the guitar through the song is a stereotypical country western style with simple and repeat chords
  • Singer has blonde hair like many other female country singers like Kellie Pickler and Taylor Swift
  • This song is a stereotypical country song.
  • They talk about their feelings, their favorite things etc.
  • The lyrics and the video don’t don’t match because the lyrics make the audience believe that the singer is in a loving relationship but in reality she is an obsessive stalker.
  • In the video she kidnapped the ‘love interest’.
  • Near the end of the video she performed a dance routine to the ‘love interest’
  • A man with a beard in the video who plays the backing track to the song, is a convention for country music as most people who are involved in country music have the same image.
  • In the beginning it’s filmed in a normal town environment but when she kidnaps him the setting changed as she holds him hostage in a secluded area
  • Words on the guitar represent the song (LUST, STEAL)
  • Use of images in the video
  • The warehouse that she takes him to is a shrine to him.

2) 

Next to you- Chris Brown featuring Justin Bieber

Genre: R&B/Pop

  • The storyline is about love, there is two parts to the story, and each artist in the song has their own story line.
  • Chris Browns’ storyline in the video is that the world is ending and he is trying to save the girl that he loves. Justin Biebers’ storyline in the video is that his girlfriend’s dad doesn’t want her to see him, but whilst the world is ending around her, she escapes to go and find Justin Bieber because she loves him.
  • Before the song starts it shows a background of the two relationships in the video. Dialogue; build up to the music video.
  • The music used at the start is very tense to build tension- like an action movie.
  • Shows the disaster happening before the song even starts
  • Song starts at 1.15- short film before
  • The two artists are both in two different locations
  • Very dark setting
  • Shows what’s going on in the background as well as focusing on the singer
  • Storyline ongoing throughout the song
  • Different locations used
  • Some shots show Justin and Chris together singing parts of the song- after the disaster has happened.
  • Flick between storylines depending on whose part it is in the song
  • Shows the artists in the storyline as well as singing the song
  • Also shows parts of the disaster taking place as well as the after math
  • Song stops- builds tension to see what happens next in the video, intrigued in whether Chris brown makes the jump or not, different music to build up the jump he is about to take
  • Dance scenes near the end
  • Close up shots of the artists’ expressions on their faces
  • At the end of the song- they show Justin and his girlfriend reunited
  • It also shows the end result on whether Chris brown survived the jump

3) Never Shout Never- What Is Love?

Genre: Indie

  • The music video portrays the lyrics of the song through drawn on animated images and text, which has been edited onto the video.
  • The animated images/text is mainly thoughts.
  • Christofer Ingle (the lead singer) also has a piece of cardboard in which images are drawn on which are related to the lyrics.
  • The animated text also links to what is on the cardboard.
  • It is set in a park in autumn and the story is shown through the video and all scenarios, which are shown, are real life situations.
  • It is stereotypical indie music in which it shows the lead singer playing the guitar.
  • However, unlike most music videos it does not show him singing the lyrics throughout the video, but as another normal average person like the other people in the video, except he is playing the guitar to the music.
  • At the end of the music video, everyone has disappeared and it is just Christofer Ingle left alone with his guitar.

4) Olly Murs – Dance With Me Tonight

Genre: Pop

At the start of the video it shows the consequence of what happens throughout the rest of the video. From 44 seconds on in the video it is a flashback, however it still shows clips of him in prison throughout the video. Throughout the video he is singing along with the lyrics of the song in various different locations (car, street, prison).

Plot:

Olly is in love with a girl and wants to show his love for her so he picks up all his friends and they knock on her door, whilst Olly and his friends perform a dance in the street, getting her to join in. He gets caught by the police and gets arrested and taken to prison with the love interest and his friends.

Opinions:

Katie- Overall I think that this music video is really a chirpy video as the song is very upbeat, considering that in the end Olly and his friends get sent to prison. Olly Murs is known for being really happy and having a very good sense of humour so the audience expect Olly Murs’s videos to be very upbeat and happy.

Aemelia- This song is a very ‘feel-good’ tune so automatically makes the listener happy when they first hear it. I don’t think the ‘prison’ part of the video links to the lyrics, however it shows a different side to the song and shows that the song can suggest more than one thing. I really like the video as a whole and like how throughout the video it shows ‘snapshots’ as if the video is being paused.

Zina– I feel like the song and the video are extremely happy. Even when he has been arrested cause he is with the one he loves. The scene where he is play music and dancing to her cause it is like a scene in a film where he many character is trying to win back the girl.

Music video representation

Single Ladies- Beyoncé

Representation:

The message goes out to women that can stand up for themselves and that they don’t need a man in their life. However, Beyoncé is in a loving relationship so when she isn’t being a performer she has a loving relationship with her partner Jay-Z which is completely different to what she portrays in her songs. Beyoncé also comes across as a motherly figure as well as a sex symbol and a gay icon. She is also a good role model to aspiring performers, women, men and even children as she is not just a performer, but a businesswoman too.

The video:

The ‘Single Ladies’ video is very simple yet very effective. The video is set in a blank room with just Beyoncé and two other women doing a very strong and powerful, well-choreographed dance routine. It has a greyscale effect and the lighting is directly on the female dancers. They are dominating the music video which reflects on the lyrics of the song about how they are independent dominating women.  The music video also goes back to how music videos originally started off- black and white, simple, powerful and effective.

 

1+1- Beyoncé

Representation:

This song shows completely the opposite of the dominating figure we see in the ‘Single Ladies’ video. Beyoncé is portrayed as a woman that needs someone beside her in her life. It represents that Beyoncé is not just about her being a performer; the main focus in the video is her powerful voice and that she can just do a simple video and it be so effective and have a lot of meaning behind it.

The video:

The music video starts off with close shots of Beyoncé alone as she sings the lyrics making her the main focus of the video. The background is black and the lighting is directly on her to make her stand out. As the video progresses there are some dancers making swift slow movements to reflect the pace of the song. When Beyoncé sings the lyrics “Make love to me, when my days look low, pull me in close and don’t let me go” she is singing them directly to a man who she is with in the video portraying that she needs him with her in her life. The video also includes mirrored images, which is really effective.

 

Lady Gaga-Telephone

Representation: Taboo

Gaga breaks the stereotypical conventions of a normal music video as through each of her videos a different story is shown which doesn’t relate to the lyrics of her song. In most of Lady Gaga’s videos she has a scene at the start to give an insight of what the story will be in that particular video. In this video she breaks conventions with her outfits as they are one of a kind and very abstract.  You see with most of lady gagas videos that they are longer than the usual 3 minutes, her music videos usually last between 7-13 minutes. She tells a story throughout her video. In this video Beyoncé is featured as a dominative woman as she kills several people by using poison, it shows Beyoncé’s image as a bad person but in   fact she is dominative like she is in most of her own music videos. Lady Gaga also comes across as a dominative woman.

 Michael Jackson- Black or White

Representation: Race

In this video Michael Jackson represents race as in the lyrics he is expressing that it doesn’t matter what race you are, because it is okay to be a different colour/race but at the end of the day everyone is equal. In the video it shows different cultures/religions and their traditions.  When it first was released it was a meaningful and powerful music video as it could relate to people all around the world and whatever race/culture they are.

Release

Most films and videos are released first in America, with YouTube blocking any other country from accessing it. In America the films are released first so that England can follow the hype about. For example, Avatar was brought out in America first. There was a premiere in Los Angeles for the film and merchandise brought out 6 months before the film was premiered in England. This is so that the company can get as much hype about the film as possible, with two premieres, meaning there are two main releases, therefore gaining more money for the company unlike if there was only one release, being brought out in both America and England at the same time.

Trailers are a key way of keeping the audience engaged to the film/artist for the film/music video. There used to be trailers just for movies, however trailers for new singles that are coming out have started to produce trailers therefore making the public keep checking that artists’ YouTube channel to check if the video has been released, creating a hype about it.


Katy Perry has recently created a hype about her new music video “The One That Got Away” by creating a trailer that was released a week before the video was.

Selena Gomez released 5 teasers for the new music video for her new single “Hit the Lights” creating even more of a hype about it rather than just one trailer like Katy Perry did. Selena Gomez even released the ‘making of’ video of the new single before the release of the actual music video. She released the lyric video a day before the release and the ‘making of’ video just 3 days before the actual release to create a fuss about it.

Audience

A target audience is when something is aimed for a specific group of people. Many artists have specific target audiences which are automatically gained from what the artist/band look like or sound like. They even may change their sound to appeal to the specific target audience more. For example, One Direction and Justin Bieber are automatically aimed at teenage girls because they dress and look how a girl would stereotypically love her ideal boyfriend to be like. The youngest singer in boy-band JLS is Aston Merrygold and according to Marvin his hairstyle is the key ingredient to their success. Earlier in the year, they tried to persuade him not to change his hair as they presumed it would make their band lose fans as they may have only liked it for Astons’ looks.

Comments

Most comments on YouTube videos show their love for the artist, something amusing that happens in the music video, a comment promoting their own music or their hate for the song.

YouTube comments on the follow music videos:

Chris Brown feat. Justin Bieber – Next To You

  1. “4.34 epic fail XD”
  2. “Thumbs up if you love this song ♥♥”
  3. “Love it! It’s a great song :]”

Never Shout Never – What Is Love?

  1. “I love you Christopher!!!<3”
  2. “Haha I love the ending:) and this song..:)”
  3. “1,868 people obviously need a hearing aid.” (referring to the amount of dislikes)

Sugarland – Stuck Like Glue

  1. “This is the funniest music video ever.”
  2. “She is soooo pretty”
  3. “Sugarland ❤ Love the hair (:”

Most comments now on music videos do not relate to the actual music video or the song, but commenting on the artist, the amount of dislikes or commenting on a specific time in the music video where something happens.

Record Labels

Sony – it is the second largest global recorded music company. Sony Corporation of America controls it.  Sony was founded in 1929. Many artists over the years have been signed to Sony Records, some of the artists at the moment who are signed to Sony are: One Direction, The Fray, Kelly Clarkson, Susan Boyle, Hot Chelle Rae and many more. Michael Jackson was also signed to Sony Records.

Universal-  is owned by Universal Music Group. The universal music group is the largest of the big four record companies in the world. It was founded in 1934 originally as Decca Records. There are several artists that are signed to Universal music Group such as: Akon, All Time Low and many more.

Island Def Jam – is an American record label, which is focused on hip hop and urban music. Island Def. Jam is owned by Universal Music group. In the UK the Island Def. Jam label takes on the name ‘Def Jam UK’ and is operated through Mercury Music Group. Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, founded it in 1994. Artists such as Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Ludacris, Ne-Yo, Mariah Carey, Rihanna and many more are signed to this label.

Syco –  this record label is a global joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment. It employs a staff or more than 30 people in offices London and Los Angeles.  It mainly operates in the UK and U.S.  The winners of many TV talent shows such as: The X Factor in the UK and Americas Got Talent get signed to Syco records.

Hollywood Records–  is an American record label which is owed by Disney Music Group. It was founded in 1989 by Michael Eisner. Hollywood records have signed the likes of Disney stars: Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and The Jonas Brothers.  The legends that are Queen were also signed to Hollywood Records.

Polydor – is owned by Universal music group, which is headquarted in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1924 .  Artists such as: La Roux, Kate Nash, Boyzone, James Morrison, Cheryl Cole and many more are signed to this label.

There are many other record labels worldwide!

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