Rihanna and Britney's Instagram pics are ruining music videos

Stars' addiction to trailing everything on Twitter, Instagram and Vine means there's no need to see their promos when they're out

Music videos used to be a major event in my household. I vividly remember waiting by the TV to see the Spice Girls' Say You'll Be There video on Top Of The Pops for the first time. In 1996, moments like that were a big deal. But would I have pressed my nose up to the telly screen if I'd already seen those skintight black PVC catsuits in a series of ever-more-desperate "reveals" on Twitter?

In 2013, pop stars seem intent on ruining the surprise element of their videos through their various social-media means. Just look at exhibit one: Rihanna. To put it lightly, Rihanna is a fan of the popular photo-sharing site Instagram. She posted 33 (yes, I've counted) "previews" of her recent video for Pour It Up before it was released. So many, in fact, that when I actually watched the clip, it was all too familiar. When I closed my eyes I could see Rihanna's bum, twerking in a puddle. And Twitter was with me, chorusing "Meh, seen it already" and "Blimey, that's an impractical bra". Justin Bieber, meanwhile, has been teasing his latest video, Heartbreaker, on Instagram since July. I can't wait to not watch it.

Similarly, Web Team Britney was so Instagram-happy last week, stacking up 18 behind-the-scenes photos, that I'd basically seen all of the Work, Bitch video without even clicking play on YouTube. The abs, the bullwhip: you spoiled this for me, Britney. The video hadn't even hit 20m views five days after release. Likewise, once Jessie J had revealed in a series of seven "teasers" that she did indeed go to a party with Jourdan Dunn in the It's My Party video, only 5 million people clicked play. I was not one of them.

Britney Spears - Work B**ch on MUZU.TV.

Sometimes, though, this new trend works in my favour. Chris Brown was so pleased to show us he's not just a thug but also a mediocre video director that he posted a lot of "me looking into a monitor" shots from the set of recent single, Love More. I could half-arsedly scroll through his feed and see the video that way instead, therefore not adding to his play count. Thanks Chris!

Now so many of us have the attention span of Vine-ing goldfishes, what's the point in watching a four-minute long video when you've already seen it on Instagram? Nothing's going to have the same OHMYGODCAN'TLOOKAWAY impact when it's been drip-fed to you in a series of frozen images.

Miley Cyrus claimed that she wanted people to look back on her Wrecking Ball video in 20 years. Pop stars should take her words as a warning: iconic pop-culture images are things that shocked you when you first saw them, like MIA's Born Free video. If she'd spent a week posting teaser pictures of dead ginger kids, nobody would have sat open-mouthed through nine minutes of Romain Gavras insanity. We'd just have got a bit nervous for Rupert Grint, then unfollowed MIA on Instagram.


Issy Sampson

The GuardianTramp

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