In a similar vein to my last post about “Content as advertising“, I’ve been thinking about how this concept could be picked up on and used by the music industry. Think “music video as advertising“, but hopefully without the corporate-sellout overtones!

The Pirate Bay

These days, a lot of artists are realising that the free distribution of digital music, which the internet provides, is more advantageous than it is damaging (think “Youtube viral” rather than “Napster file sharing”) and that obscurity is a much bigger threat than piracy.

Given that this is the case, and many artists are using free music to create and grow a fanbase, they should try keep their costs as low as possible to start off. But they also want a good music video, something that compliments the track and that people can watch on Youtube. So why not let a company create your music video? This way the company can get some genuine content to help them advertise (not just some old jingle) and the band get money, exposure and a free video.


Have a look at the YouTube stats, a huge proportion of the top videos are music videos – with the top spot going to Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend with 122,399,477 views. On the other hand, the advertisements with the best songs are generally the top viewed, e.g. O2’s most popular Irish youtube video is the one with the new Florence + The Machine song Cosmic Love. The ad was released a month before the single, making the ad the only place people could go to hear it, and quick skim through the comments (e.g. “i love this song :)”) shows that people are watching it to hear the song. It’s a win-win: Great exposure for both O2 and for the song (now in the Top 10 in the Irish iTunes chart).

I Want My AdTV

The next step up from “great song meets great ad” is an advertisement as a music video. I know that to some this will sound like a very ugly combination, but I’m sure it can be done in a way that is tasteful and doesn’t compromise the integrity of either the artist or the song. In fact, that’s the beauty of this approach, if it was too corporate or all about the advertisement then no one would want to watch it! It is in the company’s best interest to leave the art as uncompromised as possible.

As before, I can’t find any good example of this having being done yet, but I think this video below (found via a fluffy link) could have been a perfect example, if it was slightly more music video and slightly less advertisement.