The Music Video

An overview of the evolution and social implications of music videos.

This paper discusses how the music video is a very influential, arguably the most influential, tool used in presenting artist image to the modern record buying public and how it is vital to the sales success of many pop records. It maps the evolution of the popular music video and MTV (Music Television). It also touches on technological issues and business motivations with an emphasis on the sociological implications for the music ‘consumer’.
“In the late 1970s/early 1980s, there came a point when the record industry was in its first decline for decades. Disco had faded out of fashion and punk was not generating the necessary interest required to keep the industry’s bottom line sufficiently high. Inevitably, profits fell . The record companies needed a new way to market, and sell, mass quantities of records. The solution presented itself in two guises. Firstly, the release of the first Compact Disc in Japan on October 1st, 1982, and secondly, the start of broadcasting by MTV at 12.01 am in August 1981. (Haring 1996 p.33-5) Through some manipulation of the retail sector and the phenomenal but perhaps unpredicted success of MTV, which many scoffed at when it started (Haring 1996, p.35), a resurgence was sparked which would lead to the 1980s being the most profitable decade the industry had ever seen.”