You may ask yourself, why a lyric video? Actually, a few facts speak for themselves.
Blending music and images has become an essential part of the music industry. These days, not a single musical artist can go out and promote her/his music without a video. You don’t have to go any further than with the fact that there are over two billion active YouTube users worldwide. (Statista, 2019). And that is just YouTube. Add to this number other services like Vimeo or social media like Instagram and Facebook and these numbers become staggering.
But, producing and releasing a video of just a single song can be an expensive affair, particularly for the growing number of independent artists. Even smaller PR agencies often operate on tighter budgets?
So what kind of a solution is out there? Probably the most viable one is the creation of a lyric video. Such a video is possibly easier to make and exerts much fewer costs. Also, lyric videos give you the possibility to create video snippets, excerpts, or music trailers.
Add, to that the fact that many music fans want to know the lyrics to a particular song where “lyric videos are an amazing way to spread the love and help others enjoy it too.”
Lyric videos have two basic ingredients:
- Visuals: The background of the lyric video should match the mood and tone of the video. Design what will happen visually in the background while the lyrics appear and disappear.
- Timed Lyric Text: Readable text that animates in when the singer sings that lyric. The text animates in and disappears at the right time in the video. (Kapwing, above)
But how to make a lyric video and what are the options?
Why and how to make a lyric video?
As Adobe company notes, “ music video production can be expensive and time-consuming, and the results aren’t always worth the cost. Lyric videos, however, are comparatively cheap to produce and more accessible for the DIY indie artist.”
Of course, the most direct and simplest way is to take it all into your own hands and do it yourself or within your business that doesn’t necessarily make its own videos. But what if you want a special thing and a seamless, professional production? Then your option is to hire a professional music video artist to handle your production.
Very often, a professionally thought-out and produced lyric video can be an artistic statement in itself. Have in mind, for example, that legendary artist Prince, came up with such an artistic statement. It was for “Sign o’ the Times,” one of his best-known songs. Back in 1987, it was actually the first true lyric video.
As one expert in lyric videos notes, “videos combine both your audio and visual aesthetics and so they can be doubly used to offer your audience something to watch, as well as something to put on in the background.” He lists three key reasons behind the effectiveness of lyric videos:
- Lyric videos are great social media content;
- They create engagement;
- Lyric videos can be easy to make and require a very minimal budget.
Let us look into the reasoning behind these points.
The effectiveness of lyric videos
- Lyric videos as social media content – Preparing the audience for an upcoming big release (in most cases an album or an EP) or a set of projects. Quite a number of music fans want to memorize the lyrics to a song, particularly if they like it.
A complete lyric video can be cut further into excerpts to build the anticipation, particularly if the upcoming release is a single. As Bandzoogle (above) notes, “social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook are flooded with posts and links every day from musicians that say, “Hey, I have a new song everyone, check it out!” This is a way to cut through the noise, and get people talking about not only your track but your story.”
- Engagement – Music fans never shy away from reading the lyrics to a song, particularly if they like it. Also, “they appreciate the extra effort of presenting them in a video along with the song (as opposed to simply posting them on a blog or somewhere else).”
Lyrics allow fans and listeners to understand the artists’ point of view and narrative a little bit better with every new song. That is s worth its weight in gold in terms of engaging people in a meaningful, lasting way.
Another important point here is that when shared on Facebook or YouTube, people also love commenting under lyric videos. They can tag their friends to check it out, pull out certain quotes and share them, and discuss the meaning of the words in an open forum.
- Easy to make on a smaller budget – Even if you decide to engage a professional video artist or agency, the costs do not have to skyrocket.
Costs and techniques
According to Loudup.com, there are generally three options here:
Option 1 – starts from $5 for a full song with premium options available;
Option 2 – starts from $25 for a basic one minute video with longer options available;
Option 3 – priced based on the number of words in the video, starting from $320 for 150 words with other options available.
It is also possible to have a matching service between artists and video directors (starting usually from $130 ).
By the description, the process of creating a lyric video is quite simple. You need a video/screen recorder, a lyric player, and a media player. Still, making a professional lyric video is another matter. This is particularly true if it is to serve a PR purpose as a content marketing video if you will. Bear in mind that even the most popular artists like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift began to make and release their own lyric videos. (Adobe)
Adding the extra touches is what can make good lyric video work. Adobe suggests the following:
- Kinetic typography. The key to a high-quality video is to use words that move through the video frame over a background image. “You can choose an image of your choice, perhaps an image of the artist or just an image that you think represents the song,” says video editor Justin Odisho.
- Wise choice of fonts. Readability is crucial when the words might be on screen for only a second or two, so the letters should be large and easy to read. Beyond that, look for thematically appropriate fonts and colors.
- Using motion graphic templates. This is usually where you would need help from a professional who is adept at using software like Adobe Premiere Pro.
Other things to have in mind
Of course, in making a lyric video you just can’t leave everything to the video artist/producer. As Bandzoogle (above) rightfully mentions, it is essential to prepare and map out the complete project beforehand.
You would need to consider the song itself, its lyrics and properly match them to the visuals you are going to use. “It should be simple, beautiful, and relevant to the song.”
Also, it is a good idea to check if somebody else has come up with the same or similar concept. The similarity in concept is one thing, absolutely the same thing another. Another side note. if your songs are not sung in English, you can definitely use the subtitle feature on YouTube, and stay within your linguistic comfort zone.
If you decide to go professional, knowing what you need for a specific project is essential. Only then you can compare it to potential professionals (BunnyStudio can also offer them) and their portfolios. Even though lyric videos are a less expensive option, you don’t need to waste any time and money. Have in mind that in the music industry release dates really count.
The importance of lyric videos
EpikMusicVideos site makes a good point about lyric videos and music videos in general:
Music videos create a multi-dimensional experience. We are no longer just hearing; we are seeing too. At first, it was a new sensation, now it’s the only option for serious artists. Be honest, you’d choose both.
It’s not just about sensation, it’s about the content. When you watch a music video you are watching the song’s visual representation. It’s the artist’s way of saying “This is my song visualized”. How is it visualized? It could be a live performance like The Beatles ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, a cool dance video like Haim’s ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’, a video that seemingly has nothing to do with the song like Nirvana’s ‘In Bloom’, it can be anything! Isn’t that what makes it so interesting? How an artist visually represents their song says a lot about them and their music.
The key catalyst in making music videos and how we make lyric videos so important was the Internet. As Pri.org notes, the Internet loves lyrics. “As soon as we could connect to the web, we used it to connect with our favorite music — and we keep finding new ways to do that.”
YouTube has played a big part in the rise of lyric videos, but it’s not a new concept. George Michael and Prince both toyed with the concept in the 1980s and early 1990s. Going further back, there’s Bob Dylan’s iconic, homemade cue-card video for “Subterranean Homesick Blues” from 1965.
That static style — simply words fading in and out over the audio — carried over to the Internet when fans started making their own lyric videos. Still, there is a big difference between a lyric video by a fan and by the artist (or a professional) himself. A good lyric video can be exactly what you need.