Music Videos in the New Millenium: The Game Has Changed

Music Video Production – “What happened to music videos on TV?”

This is a question we’ve probably all asked ourselves at one point in these recent years with the constant barrage of empty reality shows on the so called “Music Television” channels. While the above video comically hits the nail on the head the question still remains, where did they go and why did they leave?

Well to find the answer we have to travel far back in time to a distant land of Tower Record Stores and Total Request Live… the 90’s. Computers were a luxury and the Internet was comically slow and expensive as hell. Record companies were thriving, CD’s were being sold to the masses at $15-$20 a pop and we were eating it up like Dunkaroos in a Power Rangers lunch box.

Don't lie... you had one
Don’t lie… you had one

They had the world by the balls, money in the bank and an eager audience of millions lining up to buy the latest CD to throw in their discman. This allowed artists and record labels to really push the limits of what was possible in music videos. And by push the limits of what was possible, I really mean push the limits of how many helicopters you can fit into one scene.

Biggy's Hypnotize video... Only 3? Amateurs.
Biggy’s “Hypnotize” video… Only 3? Amateurs.

Staying on the subject of Puff and Biggy, Diddy dropped $2.7 million on the “Victory” video that envisioned a futuristic world in the year 3000 where people still communicated with 2-way pagers and Danny Devito was a crazed announcer in (yet another) helicopter.

It wasn’t just the rap game though… Madonna, Guns N Roses, hell even the Backstreet Boys were dropping multi millions on music videos without blinking and they were still seeing record profits. Then a little college Internet startup called Napster had to come and crash the whole party.

Oh yes we did Lars
Oh yes we did Lars

With the new millennium came a new and faster Internet that allowed people to share any digital content at will. Fast forward to 2013, and the entire music industry has had to completely redefine the way they do business. Anyone with a DSLR camera and an idea can be the next Hype Williams. It’s completely affordable, it can reach virtually everyone and best of all there are no barriers to entry. You don’t have to be signed to a record label or have millions to spend to hopefully make it on MTV only to be cut off by Carson Daly.

Oh you wanted to actually watch the video? hah.
Oh you wanted to actually watch the video? Woops.

So I guess the lesson to be learned in this day in age of vast and endless available content is that the quality of your video is the only thing separating you from 23 views or 23 million. You can try to do it yourself or you can invest in a company that knows how like D-Mak Productions.  Either way, it is an undeniable truth that the game has changed, and hopefully for the better.

Article by Danny McManus.