To the why … why should a band do it?
A band is about music and about performing their music. Therefore most bands have in mind “to make a good EP” and “to have lots of gigs”, but by doing this they blend out the whole music machinery working in the background surrounding the music and the band as a performing artist. The youth of today, as far as we are allowed to speak for them, is an internet-savy one, one that grew up with MTV going from mediocre to worse in terms of music videos on TV and other channels, such as Channel V (in Asia) or VIVA (in Germany) taking its place. With the introduction of the internet in the 90s and the bandwidth explosion in the 2000s, Youtube is one of the biggest phenomenoms in the web, not just due to its Web 2.0 character, but also because it’s one of the first sites to be used to find out about a new band. Take a typical IM coversation for example that starts off with
“Hey, have you heard about XXX? They are pretty awesome”
“No, I haven’t, any good music around?”
“Yeah, wait, check out that video”
So why are most people using it? Because 1) you don’t have to download anything! No mp3 download (no visible mingeling with copyrights!), no hassle in clicking several dialog boxes (save as… folders…) and later finding the mp3 again AND 2) the visual aspect that helps to build an association in our little human brains. People do remember particular things better if more than one of our senses is used, hence the popularity of TV and nowadays Youtube for such matters.
If you are a band that is talked about, then you better make sure the Johns and Jennys of this world have something to share about when they are on IM!