Music Videos’ pinnacle was undoubtedly between roughly 1985 and 1996. Most would likely refer back to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, which was, and still is, one of the most influential music videos of all time. It’s achingly archaic, so much so that Vanity Fair went as far as to say it “changed the business” entirely. Production costs back during their prime would be laughed at now. The major labels would slay away and pour thousands, and eventually, multi-millions. MTV reaped the benefits, up until the music business had the door slammed on them by digital piracy and file sharing. MTV, which had started as a 24/7 music video programming station, soon found itself gravitating away from its original platform, and more towards actual scripted programming. Fast-forward to today, “music television” has been rightfully stripped from their logo altogether. YouTube and other online video platforms now sit on top of the video sharing throne.
Another music video, notable for different reasons than Thriller, was posted on YouTube back in 2006. It’s name? “Here It Goes Again” by OK Go. This music video quite literally showed us just how much the music video game had changed. The video was low budget, homemade, and nothing that required hours upon hours of video editing. What it lacked in unprofessional nature, it made up in cleverness. Here It Goes Again ultimately ended up receiving over a million views in the first week it was posted online, multiple parodies, and a Grammy award.
The zombies in the Thriller video aren’t the only things that’s decrepit in the music video biz. The OK Go video was one of the first to show that video’s don’t have nearly as much riding on them as they one did. Their romanticism has faded, as has the notion that MTV is the primary outlet of promotional advertising.