Andrew Goodwin has identified a number of key features in music videos. They are:
- A relationship between the lyrics and the visuals, with the visuals illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the lyrics.
- A relationship between the music and the visuals, with the visuals illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the music.
- Genre-related style and iconography present.
- Multiple close-ups of the main artist or vocalist.
- Voyeurism often plays a major part, especially in relation to females.
- Intertextual references to other media texts may be present.
He says that music videos are often constructed by the link between the visuals and the song plus the artist. Relationships are built between these in the video, and the close-ups of the artists gives them the representation and publicity they require. Voyeurism is used to increase the video’s attractiveness, particularly to males, whilst intertextuality is often employed in humorous videos.
Many of these features are present in all music videos, depending on the genre of the song and the aim of the record company/artist.