I came across this website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/most-watched-youtube-videos-of-all-time/. It is about the top 10 most watched YouTube videos of all time.

I noticed that there are certain common qualities in the music videos listed.

  1. The sound is of good quality. This implies that people are more likely to engage with the songs. The songs are more likely to be heard over again because of their good technical quality.  The accompanying videos have also involved a certain degree of expense. They clearly contribute positively to enabling listeners to consider the song to be of high quality.
  2. Music that is liked is played more than once. As the music becomes more familiar, the more it is played. This adds further to its likeability. The video enhances this experience by enabling people to associate the song with something ‘visual.’ In this way, it is more likely that the song will appeal to different senses.  Since some people are more visual than auditory and others are more auditory than visual, having a music video to accompany the song is likely to result in more shares and likes – since the whole package (i.e. the song and video) will be appealing to more people.
  3. There is no good song without some form of repetition in either the verses or the chorus. All the songs employ a good use of repetition. This once again makes the song more appealing. Repetition allows people to learn the song, i.e to memorize the rhythm of the song (and possibly also the words).  This makes the song seem familiar to them (particularly if they hear it more than once) and this makes it more likeable. In all videos, repetition is profited upon by visually contributing a build-up to the places where repetition is to be used in the song. In the video ‘Blank Space’ observe how the emotion of jealousy is portrayed in different ways and how the emotions of the song are effectively captured.
  4. Each of the songs has a clearly discernable pattern – it has an inbuilt structure. There is a beat that runs throughout. This does not mean that the songs do not have some form of change as a characteristic feature. However, those changes blend in with the rest of the song. Often, one segment of the song serves as a cue to what is coming next.  In most cases, change is discernable at the chorus which is usually more pronounced than the other parts of the song. Some song blend in more than one rhythm, like the insertion of rap verses in ‘See you again’; however, the balance between the two styles gives the song structure, and the song (as a whole) sounds ‘coherent.’
  5. Thought has been put into the lyrics – each song conveys a message. This has been carefully synchronized with the chord progressions and the music. Each song is an acknowledgment that listening to music involves not only hearing but also visual, tactile and emotional experiences. The video gives further expression to these experiences and does this by also being synchronized with the song.
  6. Within most of the videos the protagonist (lead singer) is clearly discernible. This enables the listener/viewer to identify more with the singer. On the technical side of things, usually the music video is a tool to promote the singer/artiste, rather than the song-writer, although sometimes they are the same person. Justin Bieber’s Sorry has been animated but this needs to be measured up against the fact that Justin Bieber is well known and for this reason he can be pictured singing even though animation is used.
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