I will be entirely honest and say Zimbos sure have come a long way when it comes to music videos. Now days you see a music video on TV and think nothing of it, but trust me when it comes to music videos there are a lot of things involved from planning, shooting, editing, props, concepts, extras, re-takes, cuts, crew, equipment, cast, locations, styling, effects and so on. The list is endless. In 1995 if I am not mistaken The King of Pop Michael Jackson spent an estimated $7 million dollars (yes US dollars) on his music video entitled “Scream”. I guess to the King of Pop it was money well spent but nowadays no one spends that kind of money on videos. Worse for Zimbos it’s simply a non-starter. A music video can be seen as an investment but at the end of the day it’s all about exposure. You don’t really make any money off videos. Hell I am not sure if any TV channel actually pays to you to play your music video on their channel maybe one or two but I doubt. The music industry has not evolved and progressed to that stage maybe one day it will.
Anyway back to the Michael Jackson Video, so the video was premiered on MTV and the world watched it and that was that I am sure the King of Pop got a few endorsement deals and solidified his status as the king but like I said that was that. A couple of years later David Bowie shot a video for his track entitled “Love is Lost” and it cost him a couple of bucks. Once again the world watched it and that was that. I hope you get the point I am making. Music videos have become more and more important whether it’s all about exposure or making a statement or solidifying your position in the industry they are an integral part of any musical career. Human beings are visual creatures and we all know the saying a picture is worth a thousand words.
The relevance of music videos is hard to quantify but we all know YouTube. YouTube is the number one music streaming site and if you do not have a YouTube channel or if your videos are not on YouTube then it simply means you are not serious and you are yet to get out of the blocks and into the race. VEVO is also another popular music video streaming service but YouTube seems to be the popular one amongst Zimbos. Music videos have influenced the way we dress, walk, talk and act over the past few decades and they will continue to do so for many years.
So the million dollar question is how do we make the most out of a music video so that we gain maximize marketing power? Uploading your video on YouTube and sharing the link on WhatsApp or Facebook is simply not enough. There are several things that one must take into consideration in order to get the most views and have a lasting impact on his or her audience. These include but are not limited to:
Ø Music Video Targets
Ø YouTube Optimization
Ø Blog Promotion
Ø Video Distribution Networks
Ø Additional Video Content
Ø Music Video Promotion Services
A lot can be said about these points but that is whole another article in itself.
I know there are a few well known and established names when it comes to videos and video production and there are some who are not well known and are still trying to find their way in this place we call Dzimba dzemabwe. Ill mention a few, we have Creative Pot, Cutta Films, Lesra Films, Blaqs, Backlight Pictures, Studio Art Pictures (SAP), Pink Unicorn, Artline Films, Mkhonto Productions and so on. Its seems music videos is relatively big business as more and more artists are now seeing the importance of having one and not just having some low budget video but something that can compete with international videos. I know on average some of the music production stables charge 500 to 1000 bucks per video and this not cheap when you come to think of it especially when a loaf of bread costs $1.00 per loaf and studio time ranges from 15 bucks to 50 bucks per session. Most artists cannot afford to shoot such videos but there are other companies that charge much less and are much more affordable like $80 to $150 bucks per video. Some of these music stables even go on to promise if you shoot a video with them they can almost guarantee it will be played on Channel O’s and them. I don’t know how true this is but I guess we will have to put this to the test one day.
Nowadays the video has to be HD and in some cases 4k to even be considered to be aired on some TV channels but that is a story for another day. I know just across the border there are some production houses who charge no less than R55 000 for the entry level video. The projected budget for the video will relate to the concept, treatment and expectation behind it. In the past music videos where shot using an iPhone or iPad since the cameras on these devices is very good and crystal clear but now everyone has a HD camera. In some instance drones are also hired out to give the video that overhead visual and feel.
Getting your video aired on ZBC also seems to be a tedious task when it really should be straight forward. You would think with the promise of these new and improved TV channels that they would be clamouring for our music videos but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The same goes for MTV Base, Channel O and Trace TV. A few Zim artists have managed to meet the requirements and get their videos aired on Zambezi Magic and the like but in this day and age of digitization and all these competitors vying for the consumer’s attention he with quality content becomes king. As they used to say during Prof Moyo’s reign of 100 percent local “Rambai Makashinga” and keep on keeping on!” One day we will get there. The more we do the better we become that is the 10, 000 hour rule. Until next time sithi Salute!