Monday, September 22, 2014

Music Videos Have Made a Bit of a Quiet Comeback

MTV is "Music Television" in the same way TLC is "The Learning Channel".
I was sitting and thinking, as I am prone to do sometimes, and came to an interesting realization--it seems music videos have made a bit of a comeback. Just think about how back in the late 1980's and during the 1990's you would have stations such as MTV, VH1, BET, and so forth playing music videos all the time. However after some years they started playing them less in favor of other programs...then only at late hours of the day or during their video count-down shows...and then basically never.

I did a report for a college class back in the mid-2000's where we evaluated a particular health-message in various forms of media. One of the forms of media we were supposed to evaluate was the music video. My professor said for the next year he was probably going to drop music videos from the project because they just seemed to never be broadcast anymore, and at that time I agreed. Then something interesting happened, YouTube became really popular (and watching music videos on iTunes, or other websites, but mainly it was YouTube).

These days you still will almost never find music videos on basic cable channels. However, if you go onto the internet and search for a song that is quite popular the odds are not too shabby it will have a music video. Sure, these music videos may not have the insane production values that some contained back in the 1990's when videos were in their heyday (Michael Jackson spent literally millions on his, for one example), but they exist. Whether it is an extremely mediocre pop-rapper declaring how she is fancy, or Snoop Dogg and Jason Derulo--excuse me--"Jasoooon Derullloooo", informing women with large bottoms they need to wiggle, new songs are indeed getting music videos.

I honestly would not have predicted this happening; I thought music videos were going to go the way of VHS tapes and Surge--namely, old ones would still be around getting dusty and spoiled, but new ones would not be produced. However, just like Surge, music-videos now are making a comeback thanks to the internet. This isn't a loud and outrageous return, but a quiet one that nonetheless is occurring. Perhaps this is because we as human beings like to have both visual and auditory stimulation, so it makes sense that music videos would refuse to go away. After all, why would we want to strain our imagination and think of imagery for a song when we can just log onto the web and see some (he asked slightly sarcastically)?
We've always desired something to "see" with what we hear.
I suppose music videos evolving into a form of internet-entertainment is another example of a form of media staying alive by keeping current with technology. Being able to digitally-download video-games is another example, with computer-gamers barely buying discs now, and consoles starting to have more and more digital purchases (downloadable content, anyone?). The only thing that annoys me about these internet music-videos now is that sometimes artists will have their video with one website or service exclusively. Therefore, if you want to see the newest video of Popstar A, you have to go onto Streaming Service 2, which may be annoying if you only ever use Streaming Service 1--e.g. why the Hell would you put your music video on Yahoo when everyone uses YouTube? Still, that is a somewhat minor complaint overall and probably won't ruin internet music videos or anything major.

While I once thought music videos were doomed they have now risen from the ashes of cable television like the veritable phoenix of legends. It has been truly interesting to see this form of media that I thought was petering out come roaring back--albeit in a quiet-ish roar, if such a metaphor makes any sense. I can only wonder what other seemingly antiquated form of media or technology will suddenly be given new life thanks to the creativity of others. I really am curious what could get updated next. Maybe the watch? Nah, who would do that?

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