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How to Get Music Videos Back on Mainstream Television

The other day I wrote about my plan to fix Metal Mania. Then it dawned on me: perhaps there is a way  that YouTube and music videos could intersect regular television.

Sometimes musicians launch new videos at the end of news programs. This happens a lot on 20/20. I think Britney Spears just did this and I definitely remember watching a Michael Jackson video premiere when I was a kid. It may have been after that Martin Bashir documentary. I digress.

What if we go a little further? A lot of bands still front huge amounts of cash to make videos. Music videos that largely go unnoticed, except for fans that search for them on YouTube and Myspace. Record labels typically front the cash for the video and the band pays this back. It's all sort of cyclical promotion - with the musicians usually on the losing end of the financial battle. Perhaps these same labels (and therefore bands) could buy commercial air time to show off these videos during prime time television?

This would cause stipulations. Bands couldn't go hog wild with nudity or foul language. Still, the risk could mean a great rate of return. Consider this: a legacy act, like AC/DC or Aerosmith, would likely welcome new fans with videos in prime time programming around the world. A typical song is over three minutes long. The average commercial break during a sitcom is 2 and a half minutes. Sitcoms are 22 minutes in length, segmented at 30 minutes. That segment time is broken by commercials. The higher the rated show - the more expensive the ad time. A band could easily create "mini-videos"  - a song snippet that fits into 30 seconds - to air during a traditional commercial slot. New album or concert information could be billboarded at the end of the clip with the band's website. A fan goes to the website - and then clicks a link to see the whole video. This creates interest, broadens audience, helps return on investment - and makes fans feel involved. 

Now, prime time ad space ain't cheap baby, but smaller bands could get in on the action in different time buys. Younger bands could do especially well in the after school - pre-prime time slots. After a band sees a popularity (and music/ticket sales spike) they could move into the more lucrative time slots. Plus, labels could actually do the right thing and spend some cash to support fledging bands. What a concept.

What do the you think? Would my short video concept work? I know I'd rather watch a 30 second music video instead of another commercial for cell phones, home loans or food.

Reader Comments (7)

I like it, but it won't work. If Lever pay for an ad for soap, people have to buy it, they can't just download soap. I guess they could shoplift it, but you get the point. Music is dying in the mainstream because it's

a - a commodity
b - easy to steal and
c - has too much other stuff to compete with in the lives of kids, who are the main audience, at the end of the day.
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
The world (and the music industry) needs more people like you Allyson!!!
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNikkeSixx
Sounds fucking amazing! U should find a way to do that.
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMotleyCrue666
I think the adds would be way too expensive to make it work. YouTube is a much better and cheaper way to find the target audience. TV is a dying medium anyway, the internet is the future. Why wasting money on a medium no one really cares about anymore?
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterXandra73
Allyson - I think this an awesome idea. I think once it was started, it could spread like wildfire!
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter80s Rocker
this would have been a great idea to implement about 10 years ago, but not in 2008. almost everyone I know, including myself, uses some sort of DVR to time-shift their TV viewing. I haven't watched a commercial in years, and would most likely skip right over a short video snippet.
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBob
I remember when MTV first launched and it was great as a teenager to watch new music videos every day..
but slowly it began to shift to interview shows,
reality tv, etc.. and MTV because just another channel.
October 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergambling online

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