With lyric videos flooding YouTube for the last decade, I’ve heard many artists ask if there’s still a point in going through the hassle of getting a music video, which can be costly both in time and economically. A lot of people even ask me what is a lyric video, to begin with?
YouTube is one of the biggest platforms for music streaming and discovery, so artists have to get their music on there in one form or another. That said, in this post, I’ll go over the pros and cons of both options, and hopefully, you can make more informed decisions for your next release.
In This Article
The primary advantage music videos offer is that they can showcase the artist. People are social animals and they respond more positively to seeing other people. That is even more true when it’s about fans seeing their favorite artists. So if you’re trying to market a certain image, brand, or appeal to a certain demographic, it might be best achieved through shooting a music video. They do however come at a premium. A music video can cost on average around ten times more than a lyric video.
Everyone knows and understands the concept of a music video, but given their relative recent surge in popularity, it makes sense to ask what is a lyric video and when would they be preferred over a music video.
If you want to visually portray the message of your song, then lyric videos will often come out on top. You can always include an image of the artist in the lyric video to help with the branding as well (similar to the video I made for Corey Kelly). Lyric videos are not only more budget-friendly to produce, they can even be free, provided you have the time and are willing to learn some new skills.
If you have a laptop and basic knowledge of a few key apps, you can make your first lyric video in a day or two, so long as you’re okay with something relatively basic (but still far better looking than a video done in Movie Maker). Otherwise, you can always hire me to make it for you!
If you don’t want to pick between the two, then you may not have to! If your budget allows it, you may be able to get the best of both worlds by first producing a music video and then adding the lyrics over it. You may have to hire two separate entities for this; such as a director to shoot and edit the video, and an animator to implement the lyrics into said video.
An example always helps: I made the lyric video animation part of this technique for The Rasmus and Regi. If you do opt for this method, I would highly recommend having the lyrics placement in mind when shooting and editing the music video footage. Doing this ensures the lyrics blend right into the video and do not look like a mere afterthought.
Now that we know what is a lyric video and its advantages, I’m sure you’d like to know whether or not they get more views than music videos.
Last year while talking to one of my clients who is a director at a major record label, I was surprised to learn that their lyric videos are getting more views than their music videos. I was skeptical at first but I have to admit these guys are pretty data-driven.
Alternatively, we can compare songs that have both types of videos released. To use an example from my own work, the lyric video I made for Smith & Thell, has over 6 million views as of writing this post. Whereas its (very cool looking) music video counterpart has just over a million. Obviously, there are way too many factors to consider when drawing a comparison like that, so you can make of that what you will.
In very broad terms, think of a music video as a way to promote an artist or an image, and a lyric video as a way to promote a song or a release. If cost is a limiting factor, then a lyric video will almost certainly give you more bang for the buck.
On the other hand, if cost isn’t an issue, consider getting both or a fusion. When in doubt, refer to my handy flowchart!
I do. Well, if you have the time for it you can always experiment with some software to try and make a lyric video yourself. It’s not that difficult to make some basic lyric videos and I think it can be quite fun!
However, if you don’t have the time or are just looking for something a bit more advanced, you can check out some samples of my work on the homepage, and if you like what you see, get in touch!