RihannaBillboard Music Awards, Show, Las Vegas, America - 22 May 2016

There’s no question that fashion and music are intrinsically linked. But if there was, Vevo now has the data to back it up. The video hosting service published a white paper titled “How Influential Are Music Videos on Beauty & Style?” on Monday, presenting three key learnings geared towards its brand partners, as well as those in the fashion and beauty industries.

“The apparel worn in music videos can create the latest trends, from Beyoncé’s kale sweatshirt (from “Flawless”), to Drake’s Moncler puffer jacket (“Hotline Bling”),” the report reads. “Beauty also plays a role in an artist’s signature look, from Adele’s winged eyeliner to Taylor Swift’s vintage red lipstick. These videos make a mark on pop culture, and in turn, create an opportunity for brands to connect with key consumers.”

The key findings are:
(1) The majority of Vevo users turn to musicians for style inspiration.
(2) Music videos inspire Vevo users’ style and beauty routines.
(3) Most Vevo users of the Gen Z and Millenial generations prefer to buy from brands similar to those their favorite musicians wear.

The artists most mentioned by participants in the study were Rihanna, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Adam Levine and Drake. Adam Smith, senior vice president of national sales at Vevo, was hesitant to say whether one in particular was considered to be the most influential.

He says the study combined research from three sources, the first of which was a Vevo Soundboard survey. About 300 men and women aged 13 and older and who live in either the U.S. or the U.K. participated. The findings were then combined with those of a 2016 Vevo finance report, as well as “third-party research sourced from e-marketer and other PPG digital spend information.”

Though the report mentions specific pieces of clothing like Beyoncé’s kale sweatshirt — which was actually featured in the video for “7/11” and not “Flawless,” as stated in the report — and Drake’s Moncler jacket in “Hotline Bling,” it does not go into if or how video views translated into sales of the merchandise featured.

“We were more focused on how it influenced the individual consumer’s efforts in either replicating it in fashion in their own way, or creating their own look and style and feel,” says Smith. It’s worth nothing, though, that sometimes, the presence of a certain piece of merchandise in a video does impact sales. A Moncler spokesman told Vanity Fair in 2015 that the brand did see a spike in sales of the Maya jacket worn by Drake in his “Hotline Bling” video.

Another point the study makes is that participants found artists to be more entertaining, believable, trustworthy, personal and relatable than celebrities from TV and film, social media stars and athletes.

“Artists are their own brands, unlike many other pop culture outlets,” Smith explains. “An artist’s representation of themselves is what makes their work popular. That authenticity created from that connection to an artist who is the brand and artist at the same time is ultimately what’s driving that connection with consumers. In social environments or through their works, that connection is stronger as a result of not having these various personas out in the marketplace.”