In preparation for the upcoming Music Video Workshop, we’ve started talking about important and influential videos. In addition to an endless list of videos, we’ve also begun a conversation about the internet’s rising importance in the land of music and the videos that accompany it. It’s undeniable that the internet has been affecting the music industry for some time now with MP3s, illegal downloads, and iPods, but we’ve started to notice the impact that it’s having on music videos as well. It has us wondering, will the internet kill the video star?
It all began with “Video Killed the Radio Star”, a song by British New Wave group The Buggles and video directed by Russell Mulcahy. While the song topped the music charts around the world, it is best known for being the very first music video shown on MTV on August 1st, 1981. Since then the video has acquired multiple other titles: February 27th, 2000 it became the millionth video to be aired on MTV, it was the first video to be played on MTV Classic in the UK and Ireland, and on February 15, 2010 it was the last video to be played on MTV Philippines before its shutdown.
Since then hundreds of millions of music videos have been created and viewed. Slowly but surely the viewership has moved from television to online. The first, and one of the all-time most successful, online videos is “Here It Goes Again” by Ok Go. On July 31, 2006, the band released a video featuring an elaborately choreographed dance on treadmills, directed and choreographed by Trish Sie. The video was viewed by over one million people in the first six days it was on YouTube. As of April 2010, the original video upload for “Here It Goes Again” has been viewed over 50 million times, and it is the top favorite-ed music video of all time on YouTube. Sie even won a Grammy for the video.
Following in the steps of Ok Go’s “Here It Goes Again”, the most talked about music video is currently one that lives not on television, but online. On August 30th, 2010 Arcade Fire released an interactive video by Chris Milk for the song “We Used to Wait”. The video, called Wilderness Downtown, was designed in conjunction with Google Chrome, which makes use of Google Maps and Google Street View. This video takes music videos to a new level by personalizing the video to the viewer and requiring one-on-one interaction. This video isn’t just about introducing people to new music, but also introducing people to a new way of experiencing the web. The video is a multi-modal, multi-browser, personalized, music video that was built to showcase the HTML5 web standard. We have to say it’s quite amazing and if you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out here: www.thewildernessdowntown.com
So what do you think? Will internet kill the video star?