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Are music videos required to become a successful musician?

Yes! You cannot make it without a music video. And the reasons for this are simple, so we’ll quickly go through them:

  1. PEOPLE EXPECT MUSIC VIDEOS.
    Most users don’t listen to pure audio tracks if you post or share them on Facebook, on Twitter, or on any other platform. Music lovers all over the world will have to see your video, in order to listen to your single. They will most likely not click on your song if it’s just an audio file without any visual support. Even using a simple still image (maybe your cover) as a YouTube video will be more promising than just providing some pure audio file.
  2. YOUTUBE IS THE NEW RADIO AND THE NEW MTV.
    It doesn’t make much sense to send your music to radio or TV stations, as only a few local ones may play it. Nowadays music lovers are used to visiting YouTube if they want to discover new stuff, while they know that most radio stations will just play the same mainstream crap over and over again.
  3. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
    Most radio stations rely on playlists, and it will be difficult to make it into such a list, as those are dominated by music provided by the major labels. On YouTube, however, users decide what they will watch, which means that nobody will prevent anyone from seeing your video, and from sharing and promoting it.
  4. MUSIC IS AN EXPERIENCE.
    You will not simply create a video in order to promote your music — you will create a music video that shall be real art, that shall be original or even experimental. Your fans shall remember your clip, just like we still remember the classic videos from the 1980s. You will offer a complete artistic experience consisting of your image, your sound, your album, your killer song(s), your cover design, and your video.

Music Videos on YouTube

YOUTUBE IS THE NUMBER ONE CHANNEL WHEN IT COMES TO BOTH LAUNCHING AND DISCOVERING NEW MUSIC.

The platform allows fans to decide if they like something, or if they don’t. And if they like it, then they can tell all of their friends about it within just a few seconds, which means that your music video can be distributed and promoted worldwide within only a few hours. At least theoretically, but most of the time this won’t be the case, and you’ll soon learn what you’ll have to do in order to make your video go viral.

ALL OF THIS MEANS THAT YOUTUBE — IN COMBINATION WITH SOCIAL PLATFORMS SUCH AS FACEBOOK OR TWITTER — IS THE MOST POWERFUL PROMOTION TOOL ON THIS PLANET, AND YOU CAN USE IT JUST THE SAME WAY MAJOR RECORD COMPANIES ARE USING IT.

This means that artists nowadays no longer depend on the major labels and on radio and TV stations, and they are even able to use the same promotional tools than the pros. And the best part is that it’s even all free.

Videos are more important than live performances

HAVING A GREAT MUSIC VIDEO WILL ALSO BE AT LEAST A HUNDRED TIMES MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY OF YOUR LIVE PERFORMANCES.

Acknowledge this, even if all kinds of experts will tell you the opposite. Most people will tell you that a video is just a gimmick, especially if you’re an unknown underdog, and that you will only reach new audiences with live performances.

This is pure bullshit of course, and the fact that most amateur artists’ music videos have zero impact can simply be explained by the sad truth that both their music and their videos just suck. You can’t just film a band performing their average class song in some boring location and hope that the resulting video will shake the Earth.

So if the music video strategy doesn’t work as a promotional tool for other amateur artists, then this has nothing to do with the video format as such, but only with the fact that both their music and their videos are either irrelevant or even really, really bad.

Promote your music worldwide

If your own music and video will be great, however, then you will be in a quite different position already. Don’t forget that you will only reach a small local audience with live performances (at least for now), no matter how good your albums or your singles will be.

YOUR MUSIC VIDEO, ON THE OTHER HAND, WILL ALLOW YOU TO REACH A WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE OF MUSIC LOVERS AND TO PROMOTE YOUR MUSIC ON A GLOBAL SCALE.

This, of course, will only work if both your song and your video will be outstanding and revolutionary, as music lovers all over the world will have to instantly like and share your music video – and that’s what we will be working on in this chapter.

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This article has been taken from the Jamplifier's Manual: How to become a Rock Star in the 21st Century.
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