We're Talking About Music Videos In The Digital Age at Sprockets In July

Posted by Adam Fairholm on June 11, 2014

Staff Post

One thing you may not know about IMVDb is that the whole site is developed out of the triangle area in North Carolina (the three cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill). So I was really excited when I found out that there was a music video festival within driving distance of me in Athens, GA - Sprockets. I attended last summer and had a great time, and this year I'm excited to be giving a talk at Sprockets, called "Music Videos In the Digital World." Here's the description:

It’s miraculous that around the same time cable TV was abandoning music videos, a new platform was on the rise that seemed almost tailor made for distributing them. But the internet that can deliver music videos in high definition and on demand is a very recent luxury. In “Music Videos In The Digital World,” we’ll trace the history of music video distribution on the internet from 1998 to the present, focusing on both technology and content breakthroughs, to figure out how we arrived at today, when music videos are the dominant form of short entertainment media on the web.

I chose this topic for a few reasons. One of them is that the expert on all things classic in music videos, Stephen Pitalo of The Golden Age of Music Video, will be giving a talk the same day called "The History Of Music Video, Part One," which covers 1976 to 1993. Talking about the modern age of music videos seemed like a natural fit.

Maybe most importantly, however, is that fact that I don't think the story of music videos in the digital world hasn't really been properly told yet. The internet and technology moves so fast that often we don't have a chance to look back and trace the story of what's happened. It's sort of been a given that since we have fast internet now and places like YouTube and Vimeo, music videos are along for the ride, but how did we get to the point where the most viewed video of all time online by far is a music video? Music videos seem almost made for the online medium - was that an accident or did they shape how things unfolded?

If you're able to make it, I highly encourage you to come and join us in Athens to hang out and watch some music videos. IMVDb's own content director Doug Klinger will be there, and Athens is a super fun place. See you there!

Adam Fairholm is the co-founder and lead developer of IMVDb. You can find him on twitter at @adamfairholm.

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