How Online Video has Revolutionized the Music Industry

Whether it was Beyoncé’s explosive visual album or Coldplay’s brand-new, Bon Iver-esque track, “Midnight”, the digital space has definitively become the music industry’s most favored release platform.

Discovery

As much as the world loves to hate the Biebz, we often forget the fact that this teenage multi-millionaire was just a kid on YouTube until he was discovered through the power of online video. The fact that one of the most successful artists of our time owes his career to social sharing and virality illustrates just how intertwined the music industry and the online space have become.

Check out the video that made him here:

Promotion

Online video is also changing the promotion game. Beyoncé’s earth-shattering visual album was not just defined by its visual artistry and innovative format, but also by the lack of PR stunts behind its success. Beyoncé merely uploaded a short Instagram preview on the eve of the album’s release, depending on the power of earned media to do the work for her.

Watch the clip here:

The Queen’s other half however, took a different approach when releasing his Magna Carta Holy Grail album. He collaborated with Samsung and produced an epic promo ad featuring Pharrell, Timbaland, Swizz Beats and Rick Rubin that hit 24 million views online.

Creative Liberty

Online video is allowing entertainers to push their creative boundaries. Videos are getting more risqué, more provocative, and generally more “out there” due to the fact that people aren’t watching these videos on television anymore, but on the Internet, which is defined by its lack of censorship. Online video is also allowing artists to produce video content that is more than a visual supplement to an audio-track. Beyoncé’s “Self-titled” videos are a series of mini “art features” that give fans a deeper glimpse into what went into the visual albums’ inception and production.

Sales

Producers and artists often bemoan the unlicensed reproduction of their music on the Internet. However, aside from providing artists with a supplementary monetary stream (by way of legitimate platforms like VEVO), the online space allows for direct view to purchase conversion. Simply put, watching a song on an artists’ VEVO page places the option to download the song right beneath the video (and thus in the consumer mind space) and increases the likelihood of a view turning into a purchase.

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