Marketing

Photograph of Ellie goulding at the BBC Music Awards

Ellie Goulding performing at the BBC Music Awards

The music industry uses a range of media platforms to promote and market the media texts it produces.

Record labels aim to get information about artists and new releases out to their target audiences, both established fans and new fan bases, to achieve maximum product sales of music releases, concert tickets and merchandise.

The music industry uses music magazines to promote and market performers. Some of these magazines may be for specific subgenres of music such as heavy metal.

A niche audience magazine like Kerrang! could be used to promote and market a heavy metal band.

Music videos are another way of promoting and marketing musical performers. Many music videos of popular mainstream artists have high production values.

Music videos aim to:

  • Promote both album and single sales
  • Promote new artists to an audience and maintain an audience focus on an existing artist
  • Promote an image of an artist or band that is exciting and dynamic
  • Entertain the audience and encourage re-plays of the video
  • Create visual images that convey the meaning and story of the song

Music videos can feature the artists themselves or actors, and usually follow the codes and conventions of two main styles.

The performance music video

The different components in a performance music video are:

  • Footage of the artists performing, singing or playing instruments. The mode of address may be direct so the audience feel the artist is performing to them specifically. For example, One Direction's, You and I.
  • Clips from concert footage which often shows the crowd and makes the viewer feel part of the concert audience. For example, Justin Timberlake's Take Back the Night.
  • Artists and bands may perform their songs in unusual places, such as cliff tops or on tropical beaches. Justin Bieber's, I'll Show You is a good example of this type of video.
  • Footage of the band in informal situations that illustrate their job, such as casually singing on a tour bus or in their rehearsal room. For example The Vamps video Wild Heart.

Unless the single or album that is being promoted is a live recording, all the video vocal performances will be lip-synched.

The narrative music video

A narrative music video will usually:

  • Tell the story of the song lyrics through technical codes and how the video is edited. A good example of this is the Olly Murs' video Dear Darlin'.
  • Use actors to tell the story of the song, although sometimes the narrative will cut back and forth between the actors playing roles and the music artist performing. This is what happens in the Carly Rae Jepsen video I Really Like You.
  • A music video can take the form of a short film to communicate the meaning of the song by using the same narrative techniques as a feature film. Taylor Swift's Blank Space, or Kanye West's Runaway - which is an epic 34 minutes - are good examples of this.