Debate surrounds what the first music video actually was, but by the 1970s these “pop promos” had become the playthings of the biggest acts in the world while by the 1980s, after the arrival of MTV, they were the biggest weapons in the promotional arms race for everyone. All the arrival of YouTube in 2005 meant was that the platform had change; the pop video itself had not changed that much. But in recent years, what a music video is (and what it can be) has dramatically shifted.
In our cover feature in the latest issue of Sandbox (which went out to subscribers yesterday) we dig into what we are calling M2V: The New Era Of Music Videos to show just how rapidly it has evolved in the past few years. They are now working as exclusives on Netflix, as part of creatively ambitious visual albums, as works designed deliberately to be chopped up into memes, as short-form snippets that work in an age of Instagram and more.
The video has always been a creative format, but now the multitude of formats they can work on is becoming an important creative consideration.