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Time to make a music video?
December 30, 2005

When is it time to make a music video?

You’ve sold a couple records, made a cameo or two at a few local hot spots in your neighborhood, gotten a street team together to pass out your flyers, time to start recording your video right??.... Wrong… WRONG.

As a matter of fact, according to Irwin Steinberg, founder of Mercury Records, recording a music video should be the LAST thing on your promotional campaign agenda…

So why have a hand full of independent record labels started planning and EXECUTING video shoots? Are independents really on the same playing field as major labels when it comes to creating, shooting and distributing this type of material? NO. But, there’s just something about adding “music video” to that resume list of bling bling “haves” that makes this accomplishment seem plausible. (“Yo dawg, I got a music video coming out”) And whereas, that video may get shot and paid for, it may never…. EVER… actually come out.

You’re struggling for radio play, struggling for show bookings, struggling for tour dates. You can barely pay for your play, pay for your t-shirts, pay for graphics, pay for travel, pay for manufacturing, vinyl or distribution, what’s one more item (“distribution of new music video”) to your laundry list of barriers and expenses? Sure it sounds cool - MUSIC VIDEO - the lights, camera, women OR men, extras, location, cars, beaches, but rarely does one bother to beg the question… “will this be beneficial to sales?” Further more, adding this huge chore, usually sends marketing campaigns into a tailspin of misallocated funds and poor focus. They simply fall apart.

And, face it, your promotional campaign is all you’ve got in the beginning. It’s a series of expenses and a HUGE amount of money. Not to mention a massive gamble against the success of the artist. So, much is placed upon the weight of WHERE these promotional budgets are allocated. It’s often the difference between a successful artist and a HUGE flop, even in the major record label world.

So, if you’re thinking about doing a video shoot, ask yourself these questions:


Why are you shooting this video?
Have you sold over 8,000 records, singles or EP’s?
Are you on radio rotation at least 3-5 spins per day?
Have you toured your local circuit or toured anywhere outside of your city?
What are your means for distribution of this music video?
Do you have connex with MTV or BET uncut or MTV2?
Do you have connex with local video shows?
What draw is there for extras? Have people heard of this artist?
Will you be paying extras? Will there be at least food and refreshments for their time?
Can you at least guarantee them rotation on television? Which outlets?
CAN YOU AFFORD IT.


If you answered “no” to ANY of these questions, it’s most likely that your video shoot is out of sequence and completely unnecessary. You’re moving backwards in your marketing scheme and wasting money.


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