Video Is The Word


(from Billboard Magazine, November 10, 2012)  Have you ever visited YouTube to check out your favorite artists’ music video and end up watching a lyric video instead of the official video?  Many YouTube users will rip audio and make their own music video to post on the video-sharing website.  Lyric videos are getting more attention by marketers and publishers.

Music marketer, Darren Craig, sees an opportunity in lyric videos after searching for a song and finding that a “terrible” lyric video was at the top with 6 million views.  Craig realized the artist was missing out.  Those 6 million people were not seeing an official music video, he said, “That’s like releasing an album without an album cover.”   Along with Craig, many labels, artists, and music publishers are seeing the potential in these videos.

Ad revenue for lyric videos is growing, as everyone is realizing how important and popular they have become.  Many publishers are trying to figure out how they can receive a percentage of  revenue by taking steps to bring up the subject with label companies.  For example, Sony/ATV‘s Peter Brodsky says, “Those views are increasing at a much bigger rate than what we’ve seen before.  Absolutely, we see this as an opportunity.”  From the past couple of months, the revenue from fan-created lyric videos have grabbed a lot of attention.

Lyric videos began several years ago as fans made their own videos soon after a single’s release.  Polydor Records’ Digital Manager, Aaron Bogucki, said, “One of the main reasons for creating lyric videos is to allow us to have an official audio stream of a track the moment we go to radio.”  For labels, creating lyric videos is an inexpensive yet quick marketing tool.  You can spend as little or much as you want.

Even though these videos were unusual at one time, it is becoming more competitive.  Since many YouTube users post their own music video clips, publishers see that they should put the audio live on an official channel and drive fans there.  This will allow for more marketing messaging and advertise preorders.