This is a bit of a big ol' swooping question, are music videos dead? It really depends on the individual... personally, we still hunt down videos of artists we love and live session videos but how many other people are still doing that. As an independent label however, we have noticed a shift in trends and at the risk of sounding a bit old fashioned, we think attention spans have got a lot to do with it. It appears that you now have 3 seconds to grab a viewer or they're onto the next thing scrambling for attention... that won't even get you past the title sequence of a traditional music video.
It's obviously a different story for mainstream artists signed to major record labels, videos are still very much a thing for them. People will seek out their videos and they are on constant repeat on most music channels, in gyms, bars etc.
Some years back we were huge fans of Burberry Acoustic and proudly managed to get our artist The Daydream Club featured on one of their video sessions with the song 'In the Arms of Another Day'.
It was in the golden age of Burberry Acoustic and it did amazingly well, bringing lots of exposure to the duo... plus it led to an ongoing relationship with Burberry. We bring this up because that was a clear example of music videos still having power and purpose. We do remember noticing over the years to follow, the numbers of subsequent Burberry Acoustic videos getting less and less until the point it no longer exists.
The beautiful video format didn't change.
The huge reach of the global fashion brand didn't change.
The quality of the featured bands didn't change.
Two things happened...
The public viewing habits changed
The sheer volume of people uploading videos and music each day has grown to the point that it's overwhelming. With so many options it's more difficult to keep regularly returning viewers / listeners.
As an independent label we have had to change our approach in light of the moving trends to more frequent short form videos.
Is TikTok the last organic social platform?
We'll admit that we resisted TikTok for years, somewhere along the lines of "what? You mean we've got another social media account that we need to manage!! Nah!"
However, with organic reach being squeezed on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and the like... it is very difficult to get a new artist off the ground without having followers in the first place. That organic reach is crucial for getting the ball rolling and we have discovered that TikTok may be the last to provide it.
Music or Entertainment?
For a long time, social media to us was a place to advertise your songs...
"Hiya, we've got a new track coming out, hope you like it and give it a listen here, here and here."
Everyone was doing it and I see so many still doing it and I think there's a place to throw the odd info post into the mix but... we recently had an epiphany... now this might seem extremely obvious what we're about to say but when you're desperately trying to get your music heard it's hard to see the wood for the trees. So our epiphany was...
It's not music or entertainment... music is entertainment!
We know, it's seems so obvious right? We realised that people want to be entertained and in the world of social media the music doesn't have to be the sole focus but rather a part of the overall entertainment package. With this in mind we set about making funny/stupid videos as Poco Poco Records to draw attention to our artist's music while hopefully making you laugh.
We also set about creating specific visual identities for each of our artists...
This is tender ambient music with gentle/calming visuals and positive or thought provoking messages. Each video is like a short music video. Learn More
The Daydream Club
They have a huge back catalogue and lots of full length music videos that need more love. We've broken their music videos into short length sections with lyrics over the top or live sessions, bringing those old videos/tracks to a new audience. Learn More
This is punchy, electronic, dance music. We have one main theme here, fun, vibrant dance moves, something to help kick your Monday morning in the butt. Again each video is like a short music video. Learn More
A. J. Pickering
His project was purpose built with social media videos in mind. He presses record on the computer, presses record on his camera and then improvises on the piano. What you're watching is the moment he created the songs on his debut album... no edits... just one take. Learn More
So Are Music Videos Still A Thing?
To sum up, yes, music videos haven't died, they are still very much a thing...
they've just evolved.