The news that Pinterest is partnering with Vevo to expand its video content base could be the start of something big for artists. Video may yet revitalize the radio star.
While most of the focus has been on the development of Pinterest itself, the potential expansion for music videos, often considered a relic of the MTV generation, should be pricking up the ears of artists everywhere.
Why? As with most money-making schemes online, it all comes down to advertising.
Viral Views and Revenues
The more that spins videos get online, the more advertising revenue they tend to generate.
YouTube is beginning to be recognized as a largely untapped artistic revenue stream for this reason, given the fact that a significant proportion of viewers use it primarily for music searches. Add to that a more recent trend, which finds stars born of YouTube more popular than traditional TV or movie stars, and you have a music label’s dream: a captive audience in the perfect demographic, ready to spin and share content from their favorite channels.
What has limited this ad revenue somewhat is the sheer volume of content on YouTube. Bootleg videos of low quality tend to litter the search results, which in turn dilutes the number of spins that official videos receive.There has also been limited sharing to other social networks for a variety of reasons, from slower connection speeds to sharing etiquette.
This is changing, however, and quite quickly.
Video Takes Center Stage
We know how fast connection speeds are improving, for starters. Look no further than your smartphone for proof, as 4G LTE connections now rival home wi-fi speeds and full movies are easily streamed on any mobile device.
Then there’s the move to video on social networks, which has picked up speed in the last year or two. From six and ten second slices on Vine and Instagram to auto play videos on Facebook, or easy embeds via Twitter, it’s clearly far more acceptable to share video content now than it would have been even a few years ago. Again, connection speeds have a lot to do with this, and the wider trend towards communicating with non-text content has fueled it further still.
Cycle back to the main story and we can add Pinterest to that list, with all of the viral potential that comes with it.
Although many correctly point to the “pennies not dollars” revenue generated by online streaming, compared to physical sales and digital downloads, there is still huge potential for video views to add a nice chunk of change to a popular artist’s income. This will certainly require a degree of creativity above and beyond the traditional four minute music video, but that’s exactly what artists live for, a creative challenge!
If rising artists can tap into this groundswell of post-Millenial attention that ebbs and flows around YouTube, as well as the building interest and shares outside of its walls, some stand to earn an ongoing income from the ads they can tag on. Add to that the clear benefits of having a large existing audience when negotiating with a label, not to mention the potential for brand partnerships, and a new revenue model becomes apparent for artists.
Only time will tell who, or even if anyone can take advantage of this relatively untapped potential, but it would certainly be encouraging to see video breathe life into music careers once again.