Conventions & Awards

Make Videos That Fit The Artist and The Audience [Leadership Music Summit Panel]

Leadership-music-summit-logoAn unlikely sounding panel at this week's Leadership Music Summit in Nashville, "Bringing Content to Fruition," kicked off a lively discussion about videos, music marketing and even a bit about building and monetizing a relationship with an audience for the long haul. Opinions varied but all seemned to agree that many choices come down to creating videos that fit both the artist and the audience.

Tuesday's Leadership Music Summit featured numerous talks and panels. A discussion focused on "creating video content…to expand a band/brand's message" touched on a number of interesting points.

Moderated by Hit Shop Records' David Ross, the panel included:

Stokes Nielson – Stokes Tunes/Country Now

Dez Dickerson – The Pavilion Group

Jamin Guy – Streamweaver

Brody Harper – Skorinc

Jared Scheel –

Highlights From the Discussion:

Stokes Nielson got things going early with the audacious statement that musicians should be making videos because they're the "most effective way to communicate with other human beings."

Later Jared Scheel pointed out that video is an "incredible storytelling platform."

But to unleash the power of video, from music videos to backstage chronicles, many of the panels spoke to different aspects of authenticity.

Dez Dickerson shared the first of many concepts he uses, in this case, to understand the act's DNA which is a way of maintaining authenticity:

Who are we?

What do we do?

What are we doing it for?

By discussing such questions a band and team can then more easily evaluate a video project and whether it's appropriate for the act and the audience.

Fitting both the act and the audience can effect many aspects of a video including production values which the panelists discussed. A new act has less money so a low-budget look is appropriate. More established acts are expected to have higher and therefore more expensive production values.

But this was one of the spots where panelists resisted formulating a one size fits all approach.

Stokes Nielson pointed out that first looks are so important that it can make sense for an emerging act to spend more money to make a strong first impression.

While Brody Harper says they've found with bigger stars that more off-the-cuff videos can work cause it offers a more human connection than fans are feeling from social media. On social media, they don't know if a tweet is actually written by an artist or by a team. When the artist is sitting there adjusting their webcame, it's a much more intimate moment even when watched by a large audience.

Other tips and insights:

Stokes Nielson encouraged musicians to do collabs on YouTube to reach their audiences. In particular, he pointed out that YouTube stars are likely to be open to a collab with a musician as simply a cool thing to do, so reach out.

Jamin Guy suggested making sure your video works for all devices. Sure, it plays, but how does it actually look when played on a big screen and a smartphone screen.

Videos can also be a powerful tool for building relationships with one's audience. Dez Dickerson maintained that the long-term play is a shift from a transactional approach (buy this new release) to a relational approach (let's get to know each other so we can be friends for a long time).

As Dickerson pointed out, a hit doesn't necessarily translate into a music career. But if you have an audience, you can have a career.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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