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Crowd-sourcing music videos - cheap marketing or a win-win situation?

00:00 Nov/30/1999

It's no secret that there's not a lot of profit in making a music video. MTV has long stopped showing music video and television, in general, has marginalized in this medium. Most people use Youtube for their audio-visual needs, so it's a real bad move to try to stop people from seeing your video. Instead most of the labels have their own Youtube channels and music videos haven't lost their importance among fans. However, as they aren't directly profitable, the video isn't something always worth spending as much money on as used to.

This is especially true for upcoming producers who haven't established them yet. Although the video for a song is important for the fans, the meaning has altered. It's not like you could see the video only once on your TV-shows top 10 anymore. You can watch it as many times as you please, you can stop it, rewind it and comment on it. There's also the possibility to interact with the music video and this is something both the producers and the eager fans and student movie directors have catched on. So, crowd-sourcing music videos has become a widespread practice in todays age. As you look at some examples of contest winners below, you really get the idea. Although the money issue is at play here, the inspiration side of the story seems to be all-important.

Recently, Afrojack tried his hand at cheap music video production and failed miserably. From a top level DJ you expect certain amount of quality, no matter how amateur and cool the end-product is supposed to be. The video collage from his tour was, however, just awful. The video was taken off from Afrojack's official channel reportedly for 'people getting offended by it'. A nice excuse for something that actually received so much bad publicity, he's management probably thought it best for it to disappear into the night. Although, as many of the die-hard fans had already ripped the video, you can see what I am talking about right here.

deadmau5 and Imogen Heap have gone another direction with their Heapmau5 animation contest for the track 'Telemisscommunications' by deadmau5 and Imogen Heap:

"deadmau5 and Imogen Heap have set up a global competition for animators to produce a segment of the official video to 'Telemiscommunications'. Tons of people will get to see your work and you'll get paid a bit for it too if we choose you :)"

There's still time to enter the Heapmau5 animation competition, check out the specifics here.

As the official statement goes, you'll get your work published and even paid a little bit! What could be better for someone looking to make a career in visual arts? A music video that a fan creates derives from the emotions, thoughts and notions the music gives ground to. Out of this pure passion for the music and the artist come the most authentic and genuine artworks. Sure, you can produce a video with bikini babes and get 53 million Youtube views like 'Sexy Chick' by David Guetta and Akon, but if you really want to do something original, crowd-sourcing is the easiest and most efficient way. Thus, the answer for the question in the title, is simple: crowd-sourcing music videos is a win-win situation for everybody!

One great example is producer/DJ Moby, who chose his favorite from over 500 entries for the 'Wait For Me' video competition. Nimrod Shapiro won the competition for this piece!

Another example, this is the official music video for 'Ljósið' taken from Ólafur Arnalds' album 'Found Songs' (2009). It is a really beautiful classical piece, but what's really special about this one, is that the video is a result of crowd-sourcing. After finishing the album Olafur encouraged people to send in pictures, animations, videos or whatever inspiration his music evoked. So for a upcoming artist, this was a really great way of getting his name out there with relatively low costs. Now the video has been watched over 1,5 million times!

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