There are many conventions of a music video, which are seen in the music video for a variety of different reasons.
- The artist will usually appear in the music video, and will usually lip-synch along with the lyrics.
For example, in the music video for 'Heart Attack' by Demi Lovato, Demi appears in the video, performing her song through lip-syncing. This makes the video act as a promotional video because we can see Demi performing her song and we know that it is her song, instead of someone else's song.
- The song will be the soundtrack to the whole video, it will start and end when the music starts and ends.
For instance, Paramore's music video for 'Ignorance' starts and ends at the same time as the music starts and ends. This means that the viewers will not get bored when watching the music video if they just want to listen to the song. Also, the audience know immediately what the song is.
An example of a music video which does not follow this convention is Fall Out Boy's song 'Sugar, We're Going Down'. The moment before the song starts introduces the main character in the music video, rather than just going straight into the music video.
- The video will usually have three or more different locations which may change with each verse or chorus.
The music video for 'Iris' by Goo Goo Dolls mostly has to different locations; the tunnel, where the lead singer is dressed in black, and the room where he is wearing a red coat. These two locations are very enclosed and away from everyone else, which emphasises the lyrics "I don't want the world to see me, because I don't think that they'd understand" in the chorus.
- Sections of the music video will be filmed in the studio, most often the performance parts.
- The video will usually contain some kind of narrative, often intercut with performance shots.
- The video will contain a range of camera movements and camera lengths and angles.
The different camera movements, lengths and angles seen in the music video for 'Check Yes Juliet' by We The Kings gives the video a dynamic look and creates an energetic atmosphere. This makes the video more interesting for the audience to watch. The different shot types and angles will also prevent the music video from looking repetitive. Close-ups are generally used when the lead singer is lip-syncing and mid shots or long shots are generally used for performance shots.
- The editing will be cut to the beat and in the form of montage editing.
- A slow motion effect is often used to create a sexy or slick feel for the music video.
- The video will be based around a concept rather than a story.