Music Video: The power behind a musician even in a YouTube Age
By Nicholas Molteno
A musicians name is made when sound and image collide, the image and experience is what people buy into and this is why the music video is still a crucial product of any musician’s career. Historically this was only achieved through the mass media, but now with the dominance of YouTube, musicians have stage to advertise their music videos. This stage has filtered out to be a core part of the technological experience, being a standard in most if not all devices fitted with Internet. These differing platforms have also revealed to the world, through a YouTube community based around sharing, talent that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. The media of Music Video has undergone rapid changes in the digital age, especially with the rise of the Internet, however musicians can utilise these changes to build and support their careers.
Having a media like Music videos successfully transfer from daytime TV to another medium is dependant on social reception. ‘Mass communication…has always been dependent on two variables an audience and technology’ (Inglis, 2000) And luckily for music video the social demographic it is after was beginning to migrate online, thus there was an audience to receive it there, it was just waiting upon the technology to come ad fill this need. Then came YouTube this platform of Internet videos has massive implications on the music video as a whole; it gave a free and public way to display videos. The convergence of the music video to the Internet has enabled musicians to build their own carers. With YouTube ‘anyone can become a broadcaster’ (Fagerjord, 2010), any artist could borrow a camera make a music video and show the world. YouTube then is the ‘go to’ place for a broadcast. In the days of the mass media if a band was on TV and you wanted to show a friend the band you would have to call the friend on the phone, while the clip was sill playing and tell them to flick over to that channel to see the video, with YouTube you can tell your friend to go to the bands channel to see them, and this is done at the leisure and timing of the individual. The coming together of music video and internet has made music videos not only a corporate broadcast monopolised by TV station it is now a independent broadcast with musicians having complete control of the channel.
After YouTube dominated video on our desktop computer screens, then it took it to the next level by adding to the portability of online music videos with Apps for mobile devices. With the 3g Network this put music videos accessibility into every moment of the day. There was even a dedicated music video app called Vevo, which had most of its content hosted by YouTube, was released and top 10 charts were in organised in the palm of everyone’s hands and now there is a multitude of ways people can access music videos. ‘Audiences are prepared to seek out content across different platforms’ (Perryman, 2008). You could even say they thrive on it; people will watch a music video at home on their computer, show it to a friend on the bus with their phone, perhaps load it on a tablet and show it to a large group of people. Music videos are in the pocket of every consumer being able to be accessed at any instant of the day. The music video is still online but its multiplied across different platforms. ‘YouTube is not just a web phenomenon’ (Fagerjord, 2010), it is in our applications on our phones, it is now in our smart TV’s, and most gaming consoles with Internet connectivity have a dedicated YouTube function. With devices these days if you have Internet you will probably have YouTube, and access to these Music Videos.
The platform of the Internet allows an individual to get any music video out into the international audience, no matter how crude the production values are. The best example of this is Justin Bieber’s rise to fame. His mother uploaded home footage of him singing and Scooter Bran saw him, the rest is history but the viral market of ‘YouTube is credited for his success’ (Avdeeff, 2011). Biebers home videos (one of which is shown in the video to the right) are testament to how the Internet and its sharing capacity, with the platform of YouTube, has taken the feature artist of this home music video, into stardom. This is a result of the ability to share media through the Web. ‘YouTube has elicited considerable discourses of “community” and “sharing” ‘ (Hilderbrand, 2007). Sharing is undoubtedly the way Biebers music video got onto the computer of Scooter Bran. In the recent years the way of sharing videos has come together, you don’t have to be only on YouTube to watch YouTube videos. You can get YouTube videos embedded into individuals blogs, websites, MySpace pages, tumblr’s, Facebook posts, tweets, across most major platforms of the internet. YouTube working across multi platforms allows music videos to reach a mass amount of viewer’s screens and through to different demographics, with out the musician having to push the video in front of everyone.
Media converging online has caused changes to how we experience the music video’s but these changes are easily used by artists to for the benefit of their careers. YouTube changed everything by bringing a platform for music videos to be watched on our computer screens, technology was then changed again by putting music video in our pockets with apps, and on every device imaginable. YouTube sharing across a variety of different websites has allowed these videos to spread like wildfire and generate a musical career, like with Justin Bieber. Music video has evolved from being only on the TV, to now almost everywhere but the TV, its ability to come together on many platforms and still be enjoyable enables it to be a successful tool for an artists careers.
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