STORY BY BERTHA BUSH
Music videos have a long history, dating back to the 1920s. Throughout the years, music videos have served the creative world in several ways. With the rise of popular music, they began to take a different form.
In our modern world, where most have access to everything through their phones, finding music and sharing it with friends is easier than ever.
Sam Fathallah, a creative filmmaker and junior advertising major, enjoys finding new artists and sharing their music.
“Indie bands are a lot of the stuff I listen to,” Fathallah said. “Most of the time I listen to music through Spotify. What will happen is (that) me and my friends who have similar music tastes might find something really interesting that is totally something we’ve never heard before. They’ll share it with me, and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, that’s a cool song,’ and I’ll share something back. That’s kind of the method that I always use for finding new music to listen to.”
The thing with music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora is that not everyone uses them. Websites like YouTube, Vimeo and Reddit are more shareable on social media.
Jeff Inman, professor of magazines, has followed the evolution of songs and music videos.
“Your traditional radio station…was the number one avenue for marketing for a song to begin with,” Inman said. “Then they went to other forms of marketing a song. Pandora still helps, but it allows people to niche a lot, so there’s not that vast exposure that once existed when 1500 radio stations played your song every hour on the hour.”
The music video has evolved into a promotional piece for artists, who make most of their money from concerts and merchandise instead of the actual songs.
“The music video still matters- perhaps more than ever-because people are engaging with videos through Vimeo, Vevo and YouTube,” Inman said. “Then they’re shared socially, which then becomes a part of the social conversation.”
Senior Cole Norum, a News and Internet major, creates music videos for artists such as LT Mentality. He believes that music videos help place a musician within a cultural experience, not just a musical one.
“Take, for example, Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ music video. The shot compositions are unfettered. The lighting is striking and visually compelling,” Norum said. “And Drake is solo in almost all of the shots, centered in frame and thus easily removable from the greater context of the piece. But the thing is, there wasn’t a ton of context in the first place. It was purposely made for memes and Vines. Within hours of its release, there was a litany of references to clips of Drake’s dancing. The video wasn’t made to be experienced as a whole, but rather consumed in bits and pieces, in pockets of time here and there. It’s brilliant.”
Music videos are created to grab the attention of the consumer. Technological advances have made it possible for everyone with a smartphone to make a video. Therefore, mainstream and indie artists alike can create a music video and be shareable in today’s world.