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Music Videos & Money

Music videos are similar to short films now a-days and they are not just about the song. I recently heard that music video styles can be divided into two categories: "Pre-MTV" and "Post-MTV," and honestly I completely agree. MTV, the 24 hour music video channel, definitely had an impact on the modernization of music videos. Music videos visually tell a story and combine all creative arts together. They embody the creation of production, acting, costume work, choreography, camera skills and, of course, music. In present day, artists have been posting behind the scenes videos of their music videos on YouTube and it got me thinking, how much does this all cost?

No Tears Left to Cry by Ariana Grande

This music video is so elaborate and constructed, that there are 3 parts to the behind the scenes series. Floating stairs, rotating structures, dancers, CGI, green screen, costumes,

lighting, high end cameras and acting are all integrated into this video. The production got this video nominated for many awards, and also got it 16 million views in just 24 hours. The budget for the music video is hard to find, however, if I estimated it compared to other videos, I would say it cost somewhere in the 7 figure range.

Toxic by Brittney Spears

Toxic, the hit video from 2003, integrated set design, costume, acting and green screen effects. This music video cost 1 million dollars to make back in 2003. However, if it were made today it would have costed 1.4 million dollars to make.

Scream by Michael and Janet Jackson

Don't let the black and white style of this video confuse you. This video cost $7,000 to create in 1995. In fact, this video was even listed in the Guinness World Records as the

most expensive music video ever made. If this video were made today it would have cost $12,000,000 to produce. Why was this video so expensive? The video was shot in 11 different sets, which added up to 5 million dollars. Computer generation of the spaceship was about $70,000 and jumbo screens in the background cost $80,000. Lighting cost $170,000, and the rest of the 7 million were from hair, makeup, choreography, guitars and costumes.

Music video costs depend on how big the artist is. Record labels allocate money to pay for their musicians music videos. Bigger artists receive larger budgets for more elaborate videos.


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