Using Video to Promote Your Music on YouTube and Beyond

I recently saw an this interesting statistic about YouTube:

“Research across 13 markets by Ipsos has shown that 82% of YouTube’s 1 billion users use it for music, 81% of whom listen to music they already know”

That’s a HUGE proportion of YouTube users who are using the platform to listen to music. Good news!

The only downside to this stat is that almost all those people are using the service more for on-demand music consumption than for discovery. They’re searching for artists they already know which means you won’t be searched unless you’ve already found some significant popularity elsewhere.

Don’t lose hope just yet though, there are plenty of ways to break through with your music and based on the fact around 800 million people are listening to music on YouTube, I think it’s important now more than ever that you seriously consider releasing video to the platform.

Whilst there have been major concerns about the site causing a ‘value gap’ where creators are being deprived of their fair share of revenue, that mostly applies to the labels and bigger independent artists.

YouTube is still widely regarded as the ultimate spring board for launching your burgeoning music career. It can act as your musical CV for promoters, a testing lab for new music or an outlet for promoting merchandise.

Where do you start?

With a relatively small budget you can buy a small AV set up that includes a couple of cameras and some recording hardware.

GoPro cameras are a great place to start and some of the slightly older models will be plenty sufficient quality for up to half the cost.

You should aim for at least two static video angles and then I’d recommend using a decent smartphone for some handheld footage to edit in.

With so much footage you do require a large editing disk but software-wise you can get a really great result using one of the number of free phone or desktop apps available.

Making it really worthwhile

If you really want to stand out, I’d recommend hiring a music videographer who can plan, shoot and edit a quality finished product.

The costs don’t have to be sky high either. Whilst some agencies or studios might quote astronomical figures, there are a lot of talented individuals who can create a really nice video on a super low budget.

To do this, you need to prepare well to make sure the shoot will be straight forward. Consider the location, a story board, important scenes and how well the audio can be captured.

In the right environment you could use decent room mics and be able to let the cameraman get to work on capturing great footage.

Here’s a one shot video that our friends Brightunes filmed on Brighton seafront:

The moment is captured beautifully with just one camera, one long shot and then synced with one audio take.

It might have taken a few attempts to film but this type of video cuts down on many hours of editing meaning that your video can be recorded and uploaded within the day.

In order to get the most value from your recording, it could be a good idea to batch process videos like this and release them over a period of time.

For example, Brightunes used PA Studio to record Yazmyn Hendrix which only took a few hours. In a full day you might complete 3 or 4 songs which could become a months worth of content for your channel.

What else?

Sometimes it’s good to step away from the norm. If YouTube doesn’t seem like your thing then why not try to ‘land grab’ attention on new platforms?

New music and video apps are launching all the time and one that’s launched fairly recently combining the two is Musical.ly.

Businessman and VC, Gary Vaynerchuk is an incredible marketer with his finger on the pulse. He also happens to own an agency managing ‘influencers’. In a recent talk he discussed how some of the influencers on his books (as young as 14) were earning $500,000 using Musical.ly

I have 14 year old girls on musical.ly making $500,000 a year... Lipsyncing.

The platform features a lot of lip syncing and skews toward a much younger demographic but there are as always, opportunities to use apps like this to create content in new contexts.

Something I find most interesting is that some of the most popular youngsters and early adopters who’ve made this platform their own, feature in YouTube videos of re-deployed Musical.ly content.

These are videos getting upwards of 6 or 7 million hits views…!

Come and see us about recording your next video

PA Studio is also the home of Brighton Unsigned who help promote some of our small city’s best acts.

Between us we work with many local venues, media producers and other promoters to organise gigs, create video and record music so feel free to arrange some time to visit us at the studio to discuss how we can help promote your music!