History of music videos

  • The first music video

    It could be argued that the first ever music video was the series of Spooney Melodies which were a series of live action musical shorts produced by Warner Brother's with a purpose to showcase popular music at the time. There is believed to be 5 made in 1930 and 1931, they were 6 minutes long featuring art-deco style animations combined with film of the live-action performer. The Spooney Melodies series was replaced with an animation only series called Merrie Melodies in 1931.
  • 1950's

    In the 1950's music videos started to become recognized, and the singer Tony Bennett was filmed walking in London as his song recording 'Stranger in paradise' was playing. After this he claimed he made the first music video. This was the first example of using music videos on TV.
  • New methods of filming music videos

    New ideas of recording and editing music videos included HQ colour videotape, recorders and portable video cameras. This equipment enabled artists to produce videos quickly, easily and cheaply. Ampex introduced a colour videotape recorder in 1958, and television converted from black and white to colour in the 1960's and 70's.
  • Scopitones

    In the 60's, Scopitones were introduced. They were visual jukeboxes that played short videos along with the music.
  • 1960's

    In the 1960's, The Beatles created music videos for their songs such as 'A hard day's night' (1964), 'Strawberry fields' and 'Penny lane' (1967) which used creative lighting and different camera angles which could be considered as inspirational videos that changed music videos forever and the most defining work in the development of music videos.
  • 1970's

    Music videos were and still are primarily used for promotional use, to get more notice for the actual song to increase sales for the music. They were commonly referred to as Promotional videos. In the 70's there was great competition between artists to get their music videos shown on Top Of The Pops, because a good video shown would increase song sales.
  • 1980's

    By the 1980's, music videos became extremely popular, artists like The Jackson's were spilling out million dollar budgets on their videos, and the overall quality of the videos stepped up. Videos also started to have story lines and plots (such as Michael Jackson's Thriller) and therefore became longer. Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' took music videos to a whole new level, it's story line made it into almost a mini movie, with dancers and actors and realistic dress-up makeup.
  • MTV

    MTV is an American TV channel with the original purpose to play music videos guided by TV personalities known as "Video Jockeys" and it's target audience was young adults however now it's target audience is teenagers of a high school/college age and shows programs of comedy, reality and drama. It was a very popular channel and in 2015 approx 92,188,000 American households had MTV. However in recent years, due to the increase in technology in other areas (the internet) it has become less popular.
  • First music video played on MTV

    On the day that MTV was first launched, it aired it's first music video which was 'Video killed the radio star' by The Buggles. This video changed the game for music videos from then onwards as the quality of editing had risen and a lot of money and time had clearly been put into it compared to past music videos. MTV was the main way of artists to market their songs through videos and it has be known as responsible for the success of many artists.
  • Youtube

    Youtube is a global video-sharing site that allows users to share, upload, view and rate all kinds of videos, including music videos, TV clips, trailers for movies, vlogs and educational videos. It was founded on Feb 14th 2005 and since has been bought by Google and is now one of it's subsidaires. It's so easy to be able to create an account and upload your own videos and this is why Youtube is one of the reasons that music videos have changed so much especially over the past few years.
  • The present

    Artist these days take time out of their schedules to make music videos and can take a few days to produce. Millions are spent on making mini movie story lines for the videos rather than small promotion videos. The increase and development of technology has played a huge part in the making of music videos. Increase in technology means better quality videos and a wider range of content in the videos due to the new ways to film them. In other words, music videos are a big deal.