Not all videos need to be “music videos”

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Why every artist needs NON-music videos on YouTube.

The importance of a non-music video content schedule.

As I’ve said before, if you want to use YouTube to its fullest, a music video isn’t enough; you need a YouTube content strategy.

Most musicians treat YouTube as a kind of archive, a place to park their music videos whenever they get around to creating one. But that’s not how YouTube intends for its platform to be used.

They want you to think of your YouTube channel as just that, a channel, a dependable destination where subscribers come to engage with new content on a regular basis.

It’s all about frequency and consistency

Most of the top YouTubers will tell you that their success had a lot to do with frequent (often weekly) video uploads, sticking to a content schedule, and keeping up a kind of brand consistency even across multiple series on a single channel.

Check out “Why you should be scheduling your YouTube videos (and how to do it)” for more information on this topic.

When you upload videos to YouTube on a regular basis, you:

  • create anticipation and engagement with your subscribers
  • build inventory on your channel
  • boost overall channel views and watch-time

All of these will help you meet the requirements for channel monetization through YouTube’s Partner Program.

But realistically you’re probably not in a position to bang out a fully-produced music video every single week, right?

That’s where non-music videos come in, and your dedicated audience will watch, like, love, and share your NON-music videos almost as much as your music videos, so they provide a cost-effective way to keep the content rolling out!

What is a non-music video?

Music videos are great, and they can be made on a tight budget — but often the less money you spend, the more time is required in planning and execution (and that’s not gonna help you get one finished every single week).

So for these purposes I’m defining a non-music video as any video you upload to YouTube that is not a fully-produced music video. Non-music videos can still contain your music, but they’re not trying to be the next Spike Jonze-directed HomePod commercial.

Examples of non-music videos include:

These options give you a lot more flexibility in terms of hitting the goals you set in your release schedule, and as mentioned above, they provide a low-cost way to build your video inventory.

Non-music videos can be promoted just like music videos

There’s no rule that a non-music video can’t have every bit as much reach as a fully-produced music video. You can do targeted advertising to share your Art Tracks, you can seek blog premieres for your lyric videos, you can do an email blast about your most recent interview video, and so forth.

Make your OWN Art Tracks

Although Art Tracks are automatically generated for you as part of your digital distribution through CD Baby, I still recommend you create your own Art Tracks that live within your channel.

When you upload your own Art Tracks you can customize them with End Screens and Cards to drive specific action, AND (to really hammer this point home) they’ll boost your overall views and watch-time when they live on your own channel.

Lyric videos can be as compelling as music videos

Depending on your audience, lyric videos can be even MORE interesting than a budget music video for the same song. I’ve kind of fallen in love with making lyric videos, and experimenting with ways to differentiate them from one another.

For some tips on creating lyric videos, go HERE.

Explore auto-generated video options

There’s a service called Rotor that uses an automated system to create custom music videos for your songs.

You select some stock clips from their library, choose an editing style, and upload your audio track. Rotor does the rest, and you can preview the video before you pay to actually download the file, or upload it straight to YouTube and Facebook.

Get a 20% discount when you make a video with Rotor

If you want to try Rotor, we’ve got a coupon code that will give you 20% discount at checkout: RotorBaby

I tested it out myself and here’s what Rotor made for my song “Lonely People” in about ten minutes:

Here’s one I made with Rotor’s help for my song “The Late, Great Age of Paper (Haiku #2)”:

And here’s a way more low-key video I made using Rotor, feeding it just a single still image that I uploaded myself and letting it apply its editing and filtering magic:

Non-music videos can still earn you money

If your non-music videos contain your music, you can still earn revenue for them via Content ID!

Check out CD Baby’s YouTube Monetization program to get started.

If you’re in YouTube’s Partner Program directly, even videos on your channel without music can bring in advertising dollars.


Hopefully this article gives you a few extra ideas on how to keep on track with your video schedule. Do you have any non-music video ideas to add? Lemme know in the comments below.

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