9 May 2013

The music video has always been completely free from creative constrictions. As long as the song is good, a bad video doesn’t matter – this is particularly true of online music videos.

The biggest trend at the moment is for anyone with a camera of some sort, or the ability to create an animation, to create unofficial music videos that often imitate the original video or create something completely new. If a song is good enough and appeals to enough people, there is a high possibility of a fan creating a video. Therefore, the future of music videos could be in the hands of the audience. Record companies may start to create competitions for people to create their own music videos for a song as a means of generating interest and publicity.

At the same time, I think that artist’s ambitions and egos will not mean an end to big budget videos; whether these videos are made to show off their creativity, their dancing ability, or their hefty income. For an official music video to go viral and justify its worth it generally needs a distinct and often humorous video that is fun to watch. However, videos with scantily clad dancers will always bring a high view count; so don’t expect a complete overhaul in what appears on YouTube anytime soon.

In collaboration with Bido Lito! music magazine, on 14 May free event YouTube Killed the Video Star will look to the future of music video with three of Liverpool's best new directors. Jack Whiteley, Lee Isserow and Mike Isted have made videos for everyone from Muse to Stealing Sheep and Arrows of Love. Is the golden ‘MTV Generation’ but a distant memory? Has the form become cheapened by the sheer volume of film now available at the click of the button? Are music videos becoming purely marketing tools rather than a treasured and respected medium? Has YouTube actually killed the traditional video star?

The Art of Pop Video exhibition continues until 26 May. More information on the exhibition and the featured videos is available on The Art of Pop Video project page.