During its heyday in the ’90s, MTV provided a valuable channel for major labels to shape the visual appeal of its biggest stars, from Michael Jackson to Madonna, but nailing that video placement was always secondary to driving record sales. Overall, during the “golden age” of recorded music in the last two decades of the 20th century, videos and live tours were often treated as advertisements for albums—prioritizing the commercial performance of the audio over that of the visual.
Nowadays, it’s the other way around. Artists are increasingly incorporating video and other visuals not just into their creative processes, but also into their business models from the very beginning of a project, turning to captive audiences on the likes of Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and even Netflix for support.
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