Faced with high production costs and limited budgets, the growing demand for visual content is presenting a unique challenge for indie music artists that want to cut through the noise of social media and be heard. While a music video is the seemingly logical solution analyzing their cost-benefit is strategically sound.

The last segment of the Modern Music Promotion & Social Media Music Discovery series explored the benefits of lyric video production. This week we will be conducting a comparative analysis of how lyric videos stack up compared to traditional music videos.

Music Videos vs. Lyrics Videos 

Music Videos or Lyrics Videos

Music Videos & Lyrics Videos

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From an objective perspective music videos and lyrics videos both have their place in an artist’s marketing portfolio because each can accomplish something different. That being said, which video takes priority is ultimately decided based on circumstance. From a high level the production purpose of these videos can be categorized according the artist’s desired outcome. Meaning it essentially boils down to whether the artist and/or their team is creating a visual for the sake of creativity or promotion. While creativity and promotion are not mutually exclusive there are definitely trade offs when deciding between a traditional music video or a lyric video.

When considering the logistics of creating a traditional music video, production often mirrors that of a short film. Based on this parallel alone it is almost guaranteed that the “average music video” will cost more than your “average lyric video”. Very often, the high production costs of a traditional video, paired with an indie artist’s budget can translate to an overall poor production. At the same time, with a significant enough budget the result could be a highly expressive work, that serves as a memorable portfolio piece for the existing fan base and music explorers. While that would be a very positive outcome, the success of that route is very much contingent on the virality of the content.

While variables like quality and cost often intersect, when it comes to visual content not every element is quite so tangible. Still, even with detailed data and metrics on what makes content successful, each individual’s taste is truly subjective and can never really be predicted. This means that just because an artist spends money to produce a quality video there is no guarantee the work will resound with their desired audience. That is why it is crucial for these productions to be authentic reflections of the artists that create them. By respecting this standard, at the the very least artists should be able to rely of the security their existing fans.

This makes for an appropriate transition into promotionally motivated video production and brings the lyric video to the forefront of the conversation. Based on the simple understanding that social media consumers prefer visuals with closed captioning, the lyric video seems like the logical choice. The popularity of this decision only increases when the task at hand is music promotion. The reality remains that promotion is a numbers game, and the fact that social media theoretically grants access to limitless eyes (and hears), a video catering to these platforms is definitely ideal. In the very same breath, promotion can always be boiled down to the argument of quality versus quantity. While this debate is extremely dynamic, all signs point to the appropriate nature of a cost-benefit analysis comparing the music video and the lyric video. In doing so the cost effectiveness of a relatively modest investment favors that of the lyric video.

While music video production costs have definitely dropped in recent years due to camera ready mobile devices, there is still a significant amount of time and energy that goes into the editing process. Furthermore, it is often the editing process that takes mediocre video and turns then into more refined motion pictures. That being said, there have been significant strides made in terms of automated video production along with extremely user friendly editing tools. In the space of automated video production there is still room for significant improvement, but as technology continues to advance rest assured the landscape will continue to evolve as well.

While music videos and lyric videos are not in direct competition, the era of the independent artist often calls for conscious budgeting and cost effective spending. In terms of music promotion this most likely means whatever content an artist chooses to produce really has to yield results in the form of numbers and fans. Based on this reality the lyric video really seems like a logical choice. They are more cost effective than traditional music videos, and they ultimately encourage people to listen to the message of an artist’s music. This connection to an artist’s words is so important because these bonds often birth hardcore fans. With a clear understanding of the benefits of lyric videos, we built the LineForLine platform to help people listen and connect to the message of artists’ music.

Artists head over to lineforline.com, add your song and create your first line in seconds.

In case you missed it…..Check out the entire Modern Music Promotion & Social Media Music Discovery series.

Pt. 1 – Modern Music Promotion & Social Media Music Discovery

Pt. 2 – Music Visuals : Artful Promotion with Value

Pt. 3 – Leveraging Audio Content

Pt. 4 – Sound Investing in Lyric Videos

Courtesy of LineForLine. Artists get started here.