In His Book Dancing in the Distraction Factory Andrew Goodwin points out characteristics and features that can be found in music videos.
- Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics. (e.g. stage performance in metal videos, dance routine for boy/girl band, aspiration in Hip Hop).
- There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals. The lyrics are represented with images. (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting).
- There is a relationship between music and visuals. The tone and atmosphere of the visual reflects that of the music. (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting).
- The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style).
- There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within screens, mirrors, stages, etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body.
- The artist may develop motifs or iconography that recur across their work (a visual style)
- There are often intertextual reference (to films, TV programmes, other music videos etc).