Case Study

The first music video ever made is a question of definition. By
definition a music video is a marketing tool used to sell a band/ artist
and their music. Under this definition the first music video made was
Queens Bohemian Rhapsody, “however Video Killed The Radio Star”
by The Buggles was the first video to be aired on MTV.”1 However it is
argued that Disney created the first music video but as they were not
used to sell a certain song the songs previously mentioned were the
first music videos to be made/aired.
The purpose of the music video is simply to sell. The video sells the
artist; it sells the song and also the record label. It is a way of showing
the viewer what the artist feels in the song and also what the record
label are capable of making. It is a visual representation of what the
lyrics mean and can often be found to induce emotion into the viewer.
The music video is a powerful tool in marketing. It has the ability to sell
something people usually wouldn’t buy simply based on this visual
interpretation. The most popular example of this is the video to PSY’s
Gangnam style. Before July of 2012 when the video was released, PSY
‘was only famous in his native country and completely unknown
around the rest of the world’.2 The videos catchy tune combined with
the compelling dance move grasped the world and sold the song. The
video went on to be the fastest video to reach 1,000,000,000 views on
YouTube, which has only lost this record recently to Adele’s Hello music
video. Gangnam Style is with out a doubt the most popular example of
a video being used to sell a song. Recently I personally purchased a
song based upon the video. The song was I’m Famous by Marcus Butler
ft Connor Maynard. The song is a parody and is solely meant for a
comical purpose. The reason I bought it was because the video showed
the artist acting like a moron with wealth going to his head. The
comedy of the video sold it for me and I went on to buy the song on
iTunes. This goes to show the power a music video has to influence the
sales of a record.
The most expensive video made was good life by Kim Dotcom, costing
$24,000,000, and before this was released in January of 2016 the
previous most expensive video belonged to Michael Jacksons scream,
which cost $7,000,000 at the time of release in 1995. This is significant
because it is argued that the more spent on a video the more
2 Page 50 of the September 2013 issue of Media Magazine – issue 45

successful it will be. However PSY’s music video did not cost nearly as
much as Kim Dotcom’s video or Michael Jacksons, yet it is the most
According to the primary research I conducted in the form of
questionnaires, I found the most popular device to watch a music video
on is the mobile phone. This could be due to the fact it is simply so
easy to do with modern technology. The close second most popular
device to watch a music video on was the PC/Laptop again this could
be due to the age group I asked and how that generation spend a lot of
their time on a computer.

There are a number of platforms in which music videos can be
accessed. With YouTube being accessible on the Internet, through their
app and even their own TV channel it can pride itself on having a range
of platforms that enables each video to have the potential to reach
such large numbers of people, just like gangnam style did. MTV are
solely based on their TV network. To this date there are 9 MTV channels
of which 7 are dedicated to different types of music. The website also
allows viewers to watch their favourite music videos and can search for
them via charts, A-Z and genre. This range of platforms is used simply
for one reason and that is to reach more people.
Music videos are shown in all of these ways so they can sell to a range
of audiences. Especially on YouTube which lots of generations watch
form 13-18 to 65+. The range in demographic shows that the methods
YouTube are using to reach a large audience is working well.

There have been a lot of music videos on YouTube in the 10 years it has
been running. From the Justin Biebers ‘Baby’ to Adele’s hello records
have been broken many times. However none of these records have
anything on Psy’s Gangnam Style which according to Wikipedia
“YouTube announced that "Gangnam Style" had exceeded the number of views that are

possible to store using a 32-bit signed integer, that being 2,147,483,647 (231−1, or
two billion). As a result, YouTube was forced to upgrade to using 64-bit integers to store view
numbers, with a maximum value of 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 (263−1, or nine quintillion).
"We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer, but
that was before we met Psy," stated a YouTube spokesman.” 3. YouTube announced that their
storage facility for views had been exceeded which they had never anticipated. Before the
maximum views a video could be shown to have was 2 billion. Gangnam style smashed this
and forced YouTube to upgrade to allow 9 Trillion views on a video.

Compared to MTV who in 1 week only manage 363,000 views on their
TV channel.

In January 2010 over the 9
channels the total of the
averages for viewing time was 6
minutes. Whereas in January
2016 over the 9 channels the
average viewing time was 4
minutes and the longest
time was spent on the main
channel where the shows are all
reality based rather than music.
Compared to the most viewed YouTube
music channel ‘emimusic’ which has 9.8
billion views and gains 79 million
views a week. This shows that MTV is
dead when it comes to music. People
would much rather watch their music
videos on YouTube rather than MTV. This
could be due to ease of access and not
having to wait for your favourite song
to come on. Therefore I would argue
that today based upon music, MTV is
completely irrelevant in todays world.


Fake YouTube views come from a
computer system in which the owners
are paid to get their compute systems
to watch the video. This
increases the views
the video to
become more
popular. The
increased views allow the video to appear in
suggested videos to make the video more
discoverable. Not only that but YouTube also
has a feature where on its home page it has a
section in which it links the most popular videos
on YouTube at the point in time. Getting the
video into this section allows more people to
view it and therefore generate more revenue. So fake views can really
benefit a video however are frowned upon because they are not
genuine viewers.
The money from a music video comes from adverts on YouTube. When
a viewer clicks on an advert it generates income for the artist.
However it is not a lot of money made. The real money in YouTube
money comes from sponsorships and product placement. Product
placement is used all the time and it is when an artist is paid to display
a specific brand their video. Both cola giants, Pepsi and Coca-Cola have
been seen to do it .In Lady Gaga’s telephone music video she had cans
of diet coke in her hair showing the brand clearly. In Massad’s Girl Next
Door video there is shots of him drinking a Pepsi can. This exposure for
a brand is valuable and therefore can be charged accordingly,
generating the artist a large amount of revenue. Overall when relying
on YouTube for an income on
When identifying a correlation of YouTube views to sales
on iTunes you simply have to look at the success of Justin
Bieber. He started out on YouTube and now is top of the
charts. This is also the same for artist Charlie Puth who
owes his career to YouTube. Recently YouTube celebrity
Marcus Butler released a parody rap on his channel
and put the song on sale on iTunes. Simply
from the YouTube views alone the song
peaked at number 9 on the iTunes charts,

which shows that YouTube has a phenomenal impact on the
sales/downloads of a song.
Currently to this date I believe that YouTube is the best way of viewing
a music video. According to my primary research the people I asked
agrees with me.
of the people I asked said that they
watch music videos on YouTube with only
5% watching on MTV. The reason I chose
to watch YouTube instead of TV is because
of how easy it is to access your favourite
music video. Also you can watch the music video
you want whenever you want and skip to the bit
want whereas on MTV you have no control over the
viewing of a music video.
A record label is simply a company who produce and market an artist and their record
/album. A well known label is Simon Cowells, Syco. This label has produced the records
of international superstars such as One Direction, Olly Murs and even Little Mix.
An independent record label is “music produced independently from major commercial
record labels or their subsidiaries, a process that may include an autonomous, do-it
yourself approach to recording and publishing.”4 . Quite simply it is a company which
enables artists to create the record themselves and only provides the necessary tools as
well advice.
A self promoted artist is somebody who does all the work themselves from producing the
record, to marketing it, to creating video. An example of a self promoted artist is
Macklemore. He is an American producer and rapper who has his own label and can
therefore self promote himself.
By being a self promoted artist it allows the artists themselves to retain any profit made.
However the cost of producing and marketing the record must be sourced from the
artists initially. It is seen to be more of a risk to be self promoted and more costly to the
A synergy is when an artist collaborates with another celebrity or company to make their
product even better. This can be as simple as 2 artists singing a song together, to a
special appearance in the music video or even something like product placement,
however product placement isn't commonly used in music videos in today’s music
videos.The combination of 2 different elements are thought to make the overall product
much better and in turn generate more profit for everyone.
An example of a synergy is when an artist writes a song for a film, like Adele did for the
James Bond film skyfall. The success of both the song and the film are added to by both
parties. It is argued that the film wouldn't have been as popular if Adele had not sung the
theme song and vise versa the song wouldn’t have been as successful without the film.
A synergy allows an artist to have their music played to a larger audience and therefore
sell more copies.