Lupita Nyong’Conclusion and Chance that the Rapper. Courtesy Kenzo x H&M
Remember when MTV stood for Music Television? Back when music videos were king and you waited patiently until the end of Total Request Live to watch your favourite artist’s latest video?
When YouTube launched in 2005 we entered the era of instant gratification. While YouTube let you watch your videos, at any moment, no Tivo required the way music videos lost their relevance. But with the world platforms such as Facebook and streaming embracing, perhaps we can make music video premieres matter again.
About Monday, Chance The Rapper premiered his movie for “Same Drugs” (the latest single from 2016’s acclaimed ) on Facebook Live via his private page. Over 33,000 people tuned into to watch the flow after posting a note less than 15 seconds before it went live.
Chance that the Rapper’s live movie premiere is a watershed moment for the possibilities that lie ahead for online video streaming. We’re currently coming to a new crossroads at the music industry. Music videos have the potential to exist as an event again, while still profiting from platforms.
Music videos went from being an active form of entertainment into a browser tab we keep open on both side. But desktop solutions such as Spotify have created this once-novel way of listening to music obsolete. Injecting spectacle back into music movie premiere is a strategic marketing tool–it appears to signal a theory we long believed was extinct’s reemergence: music videos can be creative. There’s a whole new generation of homesick ’90s children out there working things today, can it be any surprise they’re nostalgic for the joys of TRL?
Obviously, Chance isn’t the first artist to attempt this, and also a prerecorded video premiere isn’t the most daring thing you can do on line.
Last September, French Electro-Pop artist made history by filming because of his single “Somewhere New” reside on Facebook. Guest vocalist M-22 and the manufacturer danced their way through a studio filled with cardboard backgrounds and lights. The effect wasn’t a cinematic masterpiece, but it is still a fascinating experiment that required a lot of choreography and prep.
This type of performance is seldom worth the attempt. Still, the energetic nature of social media platforms has enabled Jason Derulo to premiere a movie on Instagram, and Snapchat has been chosen on by Madonna. With the proliferation of videos that are live, it is not preposterous to imagine the ambitious artists such as Kanye West or even Lady Gaga making headway in this niche also.
In a business perspective, videos have never been the most lucrative product. Merchandising, concert tickets, record sales (at one stage) were the surest sources of celebrity earnings. Videos were important for vulnerability. The networks profited with premieres used to spike interest, from the evaluations they would be given by apps. Musicians would get a minimal percentage of their cut. And creatives came home with less.
Since YouTube went mainstream, music videos are hunted out, not stumbled upon. The marketing aspect of the music video has been reduced. For evidence look no further than the of this space from many artists from fringe genres within the last ten years.
Still, a hit may bring in new fans through ads and sponsorships. And the tide of lyric videos and movies has brought us into Content ID’s era. Musicians are now able to get a cut of exemptions if their songs are employed in a movie. Or alternatively, just have some content with their songs.
Music videos used to be an important stepping stone for young filmmakers. Spike Jonze began his career directing videos for The Beastie Boys and Weezer from the early ’90s. A decade earlier Fight Club, David Fincher did films for Madonna and Aerosmith. Marc Webb is arguably better known for his political, moody Green Day videos than his badly panned Spiderman movies.
The decline of videos has made this a slippery stepping stone, however, the steady flow of talent has not dried up.
European collective CANADA worked with Tame Impala on their 2015 movie for “The less I Know The Better.” A work of genuine storytelling and trippy abstraction fitting of the group’s signature psychedelia, the movie begins with a name card followed closely by “A film by CANADA.” It concludes with 30 seconds of credits. Hiro Murai, who’s worked on Childish Gambino’s videos for the better half of a decade, also directed a majority of the episodes of Glover’s beloved initial time of Atlanta.
Those amounts of relations are rare, but when more performers include credits from the movie and not simply from the YouTube descriptions, perhaps we may continue to further craft beyond our present expectations. Perhaps place the production information on your FB connection, so when audiences are currently hitting refresh they could read up on dive and the director .
“Same Drugs” is now on YouTube and is approaching 2 million views. The figures are not even close to equal. It’s a logistical impossibility which Facebook Lives will ever get to the amount of vulnerability a YouTube connection could. But if artists may use YouTube to Facebook and monetize to market we’ll see fanbases clamoring to have a chance on music videos.