First published on http://ajournalofmusicalthings.com/
When MTV first launched, pretty much the entire music industry thought they were crazy.
“What? People are going to sit around and WATCH music? Twenty-four hours a day? And you want the industry to supply all these expensive filmed productions for free? You’re nuts!“
But then a strange thing happened. Record sales started to spike in cities where MTV was available. New bands–especially photogenic/telegenic UK groups like Duran Duran–suddenly became platinum sensations thanks to their videos. Once that correlation was established, it didn’t take long for every label and every artist to jump into the music video game.
That was a long time ago. MTV, MuchMusic and other music video channels aren’t music video channels at all anymore. And the idea of any of us sitting around in front of a TV for hours hoping our favourite new clip will appear is crazy. Why wait when YouTube or Vivo can deliver it in seconds on any platform we choose?
So here’s the question: are music videos important anymore? Nielsen, the measurement company behind SoundScan, takes a look.