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Next Steps For Music Video How Music Videos Miss Much Of The YouTube Opportunity

Report by Tim Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View

The music video has undergone a major transformation since its original conceptualization in the 1970s and commercialization in the 1980s. Originally a tool to drive sales, MTV transformed it into a product in its own right and then YouTube did the same thing for the digital era. This was not really a problem right up until the 2010s because consumers were still discovering and buying music as a result of watching the video. Now though YouTube, and by default music video, has become the end destination for most consumers – especially younger ones - rather than part of the music discovery journey.

Key Findings

  • Music Video is now the main way consumers engage with music digitally
  • Music video streams outgrew audio streams in 2015 yet music is losing ground on YouTube relative to native creators
  • Music artist and label channels represented just XXX of the most subscribed YouTube channels in December 2015 
  • Though artist and label channels made up XXX of views, native YouTubers outperformed again with XXX of consumers watch music videos on YouTube while XXX watched an artist’s YouTube channel
  • Video plays to the strengths of smartphones in ways that the static audio file cannot
  • YouTube is the media consumption platform of choice for digital natives, especially Generation XXX of YouTube music viewers are aged under XXX than a third of consumers buy music after discovering new acts via streaming
  • A quarter of streaming consumers follow newly discovered acts on social platforms
  • Only XXX of the viewing growth for YouTube’s fastest rising channels are music related
  • YouTube stars show the importance of authenticity for YouTube  audiences
    Record labels and artists need to build music video strategies designed for YouTube in 2016 not YouTube in 2010

Companies mentioned in this report: Comedy Central, Facebook, Instagram, NBC, Spinnin’ Records, Spotify, Twitter, YouTube,

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