Before technology advanced to the likes of today & before we could simply whip out our iPhone’s to create music videos, the budget allotted to artists to create visuals to coincide with their hit records used to reach millions. Fans literally ran home from wherever to get to their TV’s to catch 106 & Park and TRL. Music videos carried substance, they had vision & real creative direction behind them. Now, you can lay in bed all day & watch Youtube or what have you to catch the low-budgeted, non-conceptual flicks for the music.
What happened to the music video budgets? We DO live in the digital era, so why are music videos less important now than before? It’s been nearly 3 years since the last superstar studded million dollar music video. Madonna & Michael Jackson hold the crown for having the most expensive visuals in history spending up to $23 million for videos like “Express Yourself” “Bedtime Story” & “Black or White”. The early 2000’s were just about the last of that era; none of these videos were released after 2002. Even Jay-Z’s Big Pimpin video which ultimately cost millions for the ridiculous Yacht & trip to Trinidad was released at the brink of 2000.
The real turn of events occurred when independent artists realized they can really make music work for them with the outlets now being provided in this industry age. Youtube has been the gateway to discovering artists in many instances that simply happened because someone was 1. talented. and 2. consistent with their media outlets. Artists now can create your perspective of them, their buzz, & career in some cases via the internet. That, on top of the fact that simplicity is more of a standard today & people aim for more of a creative & innovative approach to their visual aids; the big & flashy trend has perished. Beyoncé’s 7/11 video was shot right from her iPhone & created something remarkably creative in its own right. Intimacy with artists is desirable today, whereas insight into the limelight is what used to be preferred.
Twitter and Instagram even play a role in the dynamic change that has taken place within the industry overall. We now have access to the lives of celebrities & inner circles that once were only seen on TV. Artists HAD to spend incredible amounts of money to keep fans tuned in essentially in previous times. In 2015 we now have the very basis of their lives at the tips of our fingers, so it isn’t necessary. It also doesn’t make sense to incur such debt being that music comes just as briskly as it goes. The rate at which things go viral is expedited because of the internet & music remains relevant only until the next hot thing is released.
Marketing strategies & crafty ways to entice fans have become very important to the acceleration of artists career. Status plays one of the most important parts in determining whether or not your music sells, rather than the music itself being the driving factor. That’s why you have musicians like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Drake, Eminem, & Jay-Z who can release a surprise album & go platinum shortly after. Where does a need lie in budgeting millions of dollars towards a music video for one single when the album itself generates enough buzz to satisfy & shape the entire pop culture?
The easy access to quality camera tools & equipment as well as computer software which teaches you all the need-to-knows about the multi-media world has given the average person the capability to brand themselves & hop into the videography/production field. You no longer have to seek out the top dollar directors to create a solid piece of work & you no longer have to invest that type of money into bringing a visual presentation to life. All of these factors play a role in the disappearance of this former widespread mantra. At the end of the day, we are now at the point where all that is necessary to get that job done is a vision, a camera, & unbelievable editing skills.
© 2015, Niyah Nel. All rights reserved.