Once upon a time, there was a period in our lives when the release of a brand spankin’ new music video (in TRL terms) from one of our favorite artists was a legitimate event, one that would often lead to iconic moments that were thus ingrained in our brain forever. The music video was the medium where artists and their chosen collaborators could give visual life to the song, focusing on its meaning or creative inspirations, while simultaneously vying for the success of the single.

Nowadays, though, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a music video that prioritizes artistic aspirations over commercial performance. More and more videos have flat concepts that are just aesthetically appealing enough for the average person to stream it once and get the song lodged in their heads. Artistic vision and innovativeness are just not essential anymore. But not all artists are falling for this trap, instead focusing on a new medium to execute their creative vision.

Now more than ever, musicians have been making short films in order to promote their projects. This format allows them to hone in on their artistic vision more than a normal music video is able to do, without having to worry quite as much about commercial appeal. Artists can come up with full-fledged plot lines, construct more elaborate settings, give breathtaking performances, and create groundbreaking visuals inspired by their song or album, with the longer length of a short film giving their vision true justice.

In 2016 alone, Beyoncé, Florence + the Machine, and most recently, Drake, have released short films for their latest albums which completely redefine the music video and the purpose they serve. While they are still inevitably used as a promotional tool for the music, their respective short films have allowed them more room to create striking visuals, establish emotional depth, and cause unprecedented cultural impact.Beyoncé’s Emmy-nominated Lemonade is the shining example of this trend, a suspenseful look at the destruction and reformation of a sacred marriage, and an eye-opening celebration of black women in society. The incredible visual settings and emotional resonance of these messages have caused the film to permeate our culture in the way of a significant music video, spawning its own memes and catchphrases while placing emphasis on the emotional effects of cheating. Lemonade shows a vulnerable, broken Beyoncé building back her confidence and security, exposing a rarely seen side of the legendary pop phenom, something which could not be justly shown in a music video.