lyric video

Are Lyric Videos Worth It?

Over the years I’ve managed to rack up over 17K subscribers to my YouTube channel despite only having a couple of “real” videos.

Sure, I could take my phone to the beach and lipsync. But I won’t.

I’ve spent my entire adult life learning how to play the piano, sing, write songs, arrange, mix and master.

Why would I pair the fruits of all that labor with amateur visuals?

Of course, I could hire a professional to produce a video for me, but we’re looking at $5K+ for something decent.

Lyric videos are a nice middle ground. A decade or so ago I made a few with $50 software and they were… adequate. Just the words scrolling up the screen like end credits.

These days, that won’t cut it. Listeners are used to seeing professionally produced lyric videos.

So when Andrew Southworth offered to let me test out his new lyric video service, I jumped at the opportunity.

They combine 2D matte paint graphics and 3D compositing to match the aesthetic of the song.

“She’s Made of Wires” follows a protagonist in a romantic relationship with a robot, while secretly yearning for the genuine emotional connection that only a human lover can provide.

Here’s what they came up with:

Are you impressed? I most certainly was!

I asked in the YouTube comments and on social media if lyric videos are better than just using the cover art, or if they’re just a cheap excuse for a “real” video.

The responses were overall quite positive:

Instagram comment
Instagram comment
Instagram comment
YouTube comment
YouTube comment

This one is about as critical as they get:

YouTube comment

Overall I think lyric videos are a great way to extend the lifespan of a promotion.

Releasing a cover art video (like this) on release day and following up after two weeks with a lyric video seems to be a winning formula.

You can get your own lyric video from Genera Studios for $200 using my referral link, which will earn me a small commission towards future experiments.

For an extra $35, you can also get a vertical version for social media. The option didn’t exist when they made my video or I definitely would’ve done it!

What do you think? Are lyric videos worth it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

And if you use Andrew’s service, please share a link to your video below. Maybe I’ll add it to the post!

18 Comments

  1. It’s a great video however I don’t think lyric videos are that relevant anymore other than a new way to promote your song.
    Also it depends on the type of artist you are. Some artists are better suited and get more engagement when they sing in person and the audience can see who is singing the song so a performance video will usually win over a lyric video that is a little repetitive and expensive.
    I would always choose a beach video over a lyric video but again this depends on the artist and what works for them.

    1. I hear you Paul. If I were Charli XCX or Caroline Polachek, I’d go with the beach video. But they both have lyric videos too, for almost every song it seems! Doing both seems to be the play.

  2. No offense but that is not worth 299 bucks. A similar vid on Soundsbetter would probably cost 50 to 60. For the 200 price range I’d really be expecting a lot more. Sorry bro. I don’t mean to offend, just my personal take. They are a great idea for sure and I agree 100% that shooting a vid on your phone while you walk on a beach make for very lame vids. We see it a lot on FB and I just scroll past.

    1. It’s $200 but I’m guessing $299 was a typo. I haven’t spent much time on Soundbetter, but I’ve found Fiverr to be hit and miss. You have to be willing to do the research and find someone who 1) gets you and 2) has strong communication skills (the biggest sticking point in my experience). Between add-ons and a generous tip, I typically end up spending a lot more than sticker price.

      1. 100% Brian. I tried out Fivver and it was a big miss on point #1. $150 later, I’d learnt some valuable lessons. Ended up creating the video myself. It was actually the back and forth trying to communicate the vision that actually burnt a lot of time which disappointed me most

        1. Ouch Luke! Fiverr is always a crapshoot. I’ve had the same thing happen, where you pay for the gig and then they just don’t get it, so eventually you just settle for what you get.

  3. This is really cool, Brian!

    I think lyric videos are MUCH better than just a static image video and are at least a basic necessity to showcase the music. And this one keeps the viewer engaged by moving the elements around and by seemingly weaving a bit of the story as a part of it.

    Great video and intriguing post.

  4. Honestly, I think that this video sucks, I did a few videos with 0 budget using CreativeCommons footage and spending maybe 1h, the result was way better than this. Nothing personal, Maybe it’s also a matter of taste, but I prefer not having a video than this, or making something simple and more organic with CC. Best.

    1. Harsh! 😉

      I’m guessing your Creative Commons footage videos aren’t lyric videos, right? Personally I’d rather just have cover art than use stock footage, though I did make a couple that peoples seemed to like (here and here).

      Pretty sure we’re talking apples and oranges here.

  5. Wow-bit of a divide on who likes these and who doesn’t! If the music suits, to have someone take care of everything for you, I think it’s worth it for this lyric video. A lot of people think $200 is a lot, but if your time is $50 / hour – that’s a massive saving there.

    1. I’m with you Nick! I mean, I’ve historically paid over $1K for cover art. The fact that people will do it on Fiverr for $35 isn’t persuasive in the slightest.

  6. And how many views of the song would you need in order to recoup your $200? Seems like another instance where there is very little chance of a return on investment and that you’re better off with a different approach.

    1. Fair enough, but I don’t think anyone makes a music video with the hope of recouping the expense through YouTube monetization. It’s about building and nurturing an audience.

  7. They are, and yet they aren’t because most of us are housing our lyrics videos on YouTube where organic growth is extremely difficult.

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