YouTube Kills MTV, Profitable Video Businesses

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YouTube Replaces MTV in Video Revolution
The first Video Music Awards were in 1984 on MTV. In those days record labels spent millions on music videos to promote and sell albums. The game was won or lost depending on how DJs and MTV handled the song and music video.

Today that same power is wielded by YouTube. Rather than radio or television, YouTube is now the platform of choice for music-consuming American teenagers. Radio stations watch the viewing numbers of YouTube music videos. YouTube views alone can propel an album to success. This change in medium has subtly altered the aesthetics of videos, too, freeing directors to take more risks. While MTV is still alive, it is the YouTube hit that labels strive for.

Of the five videos nominated for video of the year, the one most viewed on YouTube, “Thrift Shop,” by the Seattle rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, cost the least to make, $15,000. Yet its comic tone and absurd images jump-started the career of these artists, persuading radio programmers to champion their song. View the video on YouTube This video has had over 400 million YouTube Views!

Music Video Directors have greater artistic freedom and operate on lower budgets. They are no longer restricted to a three-minute format, nor do they need to worry about obscenity rules.

“Now we are on the Internet, and there are no rules, it can be real art,” said Anthony Mandler, who directed Taylor Swift’s video I Knew You Were Trouble. This five minute-video begins with a long soliloquy from Ms. Swift before the music starts.

Along with the skilled use of Twitter and Facebook, YouTube videos have become critical to creating a band’s image. It used to be that radio, MTV and record labels were the gatekeepers. Today fans decide what they want to hear and radio typically follows.

(This is condensed from the New York Time article “Pop Music Videos? I Want My YouTube!” Click here to read the original article.

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To Your Success,

Hal Landen
Helping Producers for over 14 Years


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