Not really. That’s not to say that they don’t, but you can make a million dollars and still not make a single video.
A video is basically a piece of audio and video—or in many ways it is an audio record of a film—made by somebody. In the case of a musical video, the artist is usually paid to design and produce the video. A music video is the result of a collaboration between a producer and a video director.
When a musician has more time, is the creative process easier? Yes, especially if you make videos. In fact, to be good at video, you should become good at making everything. So, if you are on a tight deadline, I’d suggest that you work for free on a few video projects.
My favorite video is probably the video for “Lazy Eye”—which has been shot by the Canadian rock band The Front Bottoms. (The video was made with a video editing software called QuickTime 2.0.) This song was originally called “Rise Up,” but it’s a much more uplifting song than the more melancholy “Lazy Eye.” The difference in tone is obvious in the lyrics. But, since they’re all about the same amount of time spent working on this video, it’s a great song for me and this podcast.
If the video costs money, how much do the artists get paid each month? No one is paid as often as the musicians themselves—that is the basic formula for an artist’s income. The reason that I don’t talk about this money is that it’s not what drives the industry. The bottom line is that artists have to make the money back. In this case, making the money means making a video and posting it to YouTube—which means that you don’t have to worry about any revenue sharing.
I think YouTube and the rest of the industry are on board in terms of monetization, which I believe in. I understand that sometimes you have to do deals with distributors or labels to get the money back, but I don’t think that that is an important part of this discussion—at least, not for now. It is the bottom line.
The other thing I think that they are doing right now is keeping the artists from being trapped in the same way they are in the last five or ten years. They have begun to make some of this money back. But there is no magic formula. It comes down to how fast you work and how hard you