Video Production and Promotion

This section discusses the functions of record label video production and video promotion departments. At this point, you may also want to review the StarPolish dedicated section on Music Videos and Video Promotion for more details and do-it-yourself tips. Not to be negative (but just to be realistic), don't expect that a video is an automatic. Much like tour support, even if there is a video commitment in your contract, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will shoot one. The decision to make a video comes when there is positive reassurance that a track is performing well enough at radio that the major channels would consider playing a video. MTV and VH1 are not the only outlets for videos, but it is important to consider the reality of airplay on either of those two channels before deciding to shoot a new video. Videos are exorbitantly expensive, and their cost is recoupable. If there is no chance for MTV or VH1 airplay, then it's almost not worth it, for any parties involved, to consider making a video at all. But if there is the possibility that a video would at least have a shot at specialty programming on either MTV, VH1 or BET and it could potentially grow from there, the video shoot would get the green light.
The video promotion staff, like the radio promotion staff, is responsible for getting airplay for videos. It's usually a two- or three-person department because video outlets are limited. The major channels are MTV, VH1 and BET. A third, called The Box, was purchased by MTV, and has been rolled into MTV's new MTV2 channel, which will become another viable outlet for new video exposure. There are also about 40 or 50 locally produced genre-specific video shows that are important to generate visibility and contribute to regional successes. In addition to garnering video airplay, the video promotion department will also try to supplement the airplay with promotions, giveaways, and artist appearances whenever possible -- anything from an artist hosting MTV's Total Request Live (TRL) to a new artist performing on a local video program in Phoenix.
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