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What are Music Videos used for?

The Promotion of Songs

Music videos were invented to serve a particular purpose – the promotion of songs. Because the entertainment appeal of music videos to the masses is very popular, music videos have been one of the primary ways to promote a song. For decades, this audio-visual tool has been used to illustrate what a song is all about so that people can familiarize themselves with it better. The more familiar a person is with a song, the more chances that the person will buy the album or single.

The Promotion of a Band or Singer

Aside from the promotion of a song, music videos give more character to the band or the artist. People can very much hear how good a song sounds and it could give them a basic impression of the persona of the singer or band based on the listener’s imagination. Music videos, however, showcase bands and artists better because of their visual nature. This helps in promoting the band or singer.

Illustrating a Song

When you listen to a song, the lyrics will give you an idea of the message of the song. Some are quite clear while some are a little bit ambiguous. The music, on the other hand, gives you an idea of the emotion of the song. The effect of a song with a sad lyrical message coupled with sad sounding music is different from one where the lyrics are sad but the music is more upbeat. These two elements of a song can already give listeners an imaginative picture of what the artist may be saying. Music videos add another element into the equation – pictures. Video clips can clearly paint the story for the audience. This allows the viewer to understand the song better. It’s similar to reading a book compared to watching its film adaptation.


Many times, music videos are meant for entertainment rather than painting a story. There are bands or producers who include clips and pictures that have no relation to the song. But giving people something to see and enjoy while listening to the music is said to be better than just listening to the song. There are music videos that only show the band playing either live or recorded. It doesn’t say much in terms of story but lets the audience see the faces behind the song.

Other Uses

In lieu of presentation slideshows, music videos can also be used to present an idea even in the business world. With the use of some animated graphics and a bit of text and some background music, presenters can better explain their projects to their bosses or prospects. Because of the audio-visual power of music videos, it helps entertain audiences and also explain a proposal. In advertising, some companies may decide to choose to use music videos to present their products and services instead of the usual TV ad concepts we normally see.

by SmartShoot
Brett Vaughn

Tips for Music Videography


Have a concept ready

Concepts affect everything from budgets to production requirements. Concepts determine how many people you need and how long the video will take to be produced. When you already have a concept, it makes it easier for music video producers and directors to determine what you will need to complete the video. It doesn’t have to be a concrete concept. At the very least, a rough idea will be enough to give your production team something to work with.


Begin with the final product in mind

There are many different ways to start a music video project. You can start with a given budget or a certain concept, but one of the most important considerations is where the video will be shown. Videos planned to be shown on television need to have higher production quality than ones broadcasted over Youtube, while simple music videos used in businesses or wedding production do not require the same level of production. This is why the final purpose of your video has to be clear, and knowing where you want the video to end up should be first on your list of questions to ask.


Budget beyond your plan

Provide budget allocations for emergencies or duration extensions. For example, when it suddenly rains during your shoot and this goes against your concept, delays will happen and you’ll spend more. Your conditions might not always be as perfect as you want them the first time, so budgeting beyond what you planned is ideal.


Shoot more than you need

Make sure that you have enough clips to cover the whole song. Storyboards are very helpful when creating videos (especially narrative music video concepts) but it’s always best to have second and third safety takes so that you won’t run out of footage for your music video. Sometimes, mistakes in clips are only noticed during post production and if you don’t have alternative clips available, you would have to do costly re-shoots.

by SmartShoot

How much do Music Videos cost?

Budgets are important when creating projects. Budgets help businesses to allocate their funds accordingly so that they will not end up with an uncompleted venture and a waste of resources. This is why budgets should be planned carefully. When conceptualizing a music video, it is vital for producers, artists, and bands to determine how much they need in order for them to create one that will serve their purpose.

Performance Music Videos

Performance videos are the most budget-friendly music videos that promote a song. This kind of video shows the artist singing at a location. Shooting can be done in a few hours and production crews can be hired for $1000 or less depending on the concept. This, however, doesn’t include the other production costs like wardrobes, makeup, and venue fees, which should always be taken into account. Although budgets still won’t be at the low end, indie artists and bands prefer performance videos because funding it is easier than concept-based videos.

Concept Music Videos

What populates most music video channels are concept-based music videos. Budgets for these kinds of videos ranges from $20,000 to over $600,000. The more complex the concept, the higher the required budget. The most expensive MV of all time is Michael Jackson’s Scream which was reported to have cost $7M dollars in 1995. Concept music videos can be story based in nature or might focus on graphics and special effects.

Factors that Affect the Cost of a Music Video

When planning for your MV production budget, you should look into all the rentals required, the design costs, and the talent fees you need to pay.

Here are some factors that affect cost:

  • Production equipment – including video gear and lighting equipment
  • Location fees
  • Directors and producers
  • Production crew – music videos can be created with as few as five crew members to as many as 30 people for more complex concepts
  • Food and beverages for your production crew and actors
  • Actors and extras
  • Video quality – a higher-quality output will require better video equipment, more expensive set designs, a more experienced crew, and so on. This translates to a higher budget.
  • Number of locations – shooting in multiple locations is more costly compared to a single venue.
  • Production design – this includes set design, clothes, wardrobe, etc.
  • Post-production – editing the final output and publishing the video
  • Production duration – the longer you make the video, the more you spend for production hours and rentals.

Find a Music Creative near you!

SmartShoot brings the power of professional photos and videos.

We help businesses and individuals find and collaborate with professional freelance photographers and videographers. Our creatives have delivered over 80,000 projects around the globe.

An example project

Music Video Project

Be sure to list the location of the shoot. If you have a concept ready or storyboarded. If you would like to hire actors. If you would like animation, and effects, etc. The time table for the final video and a link to the music track so the filmmaker can listen and get a sense of how your ideas will sync with the track. Music videos are pretty big productions and take a lot of planning and preparation, contacting crew, stylists, renting gear, etc. Be prepared to compensate the creative and crew for their work.

Suggested Price: $3000

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