Remember way back when MTV still ran music videos?
No, the format is not dead. In fact, music videos are doing financially well enough so that union dancers are demanding that producers give them a fair contract.
According to AFTRA (American Federation of Radio and Television Artists -- one of several unions that represent dancers), their members have formed the "It's About Time" Campaign to obtain a fair contract from music video producers.
In a recent press release, AFTRA says:
"AFTRA dancers have stepped up their campaign for a fair contract covering dancers and other performers in music videos by launching a social media and video campaign over the weekend.
"'It's About Time' features prominent dancers and choreographers calling for a contract that provides for safety, fair pay, residuals, health and retirement benefits and other provisions for professional performers. In this campaign, AFTRA is partnering with the Dancers' Alliance, a grassroots organization dedicated to educating dancers and building solidarity in the dance community.
"The online campaign began with a video message from dancer and choreographer Galen Hooks, who is a AFTRA Los Angeles Board member and a leader of the Dancers’ Alliance. Other participants include choreographer/director Brian Friedman, former Pussycat Doll Carmit Bachar, comedian Affion Crockett and many established dancers, including Bryan Tanaka, Randi Kemper and Shaun Evaristo.
"The campaign's theme of 'It's About Time' refers to the 30-year history of the modern music video, the recent resurgence in the popularity and profitability of music videos, and the need for dancers and other performers to finally be recognized for the talent and professionalism they bring to the music video industry.
"The launch of the campaign coincided with the weekend of the MTV Video Music Awards, which this year drew the largest audience in the network’s 30-year history.
"With the rise of Vevo and other ad-supported streaming services, music videos are generating revenue for the record labels like never before. According to ComScore, Vevo is now the second most viewed video content property after Google sites, with 63 million unique monthly viewers. Vevo is also the top partner channel on YouTube (a Google site), with nearly 60 million unique monthly viewers watching monetized Vevo content on YouTube.
"AFTRA commenced negotiations for a music video contract on June 21, 2011 with representatives of Sony, UMG, Warner, EMI, Disney and most of their subsidiary labels.
"While AFTRA has placed a high priority on achieving a fair agreement, industry representatives have been slow in responding to AFTRA's proposal and setting dates for continued negotiations."