It’s time for a new take on music videos

Streaming is one of the biggest sources of music income for artists in 2022. With the industry now fully digital, getting your music online on big DSPs like Spotify is now a necessary step to get it there. to the ears (and spheres) of the everyday listener.

by VSHRIS ROBLEY from CD Baby’s DIY Musician blog

The traditional clip is dead (and that’s good).

The rise of TikTok and Reels coincided with the demise of long-form music videos. And yet, many artists still think they have to shoot full professional videos. I generally advise against it. Why?

By TikTok standards, traditional music videos are boring and expensive.

Most traditional music videos are:

  • Too long. So only your most diehard fans watch until the end.
  • Too scripted. So they don’t work on social media where viewers expect things to look raw and off-the-cuff.
  • Too polite. Thus, your video is perceived as an advertisement (pass!)
  • Too slow. So your sweeping intro and “dramatic” b-roll is all the more reason to jump.
  • Too expensive. So you’re wasting a lot of money.
  • Too time consuming. So you’re wasting valuable time.

Worth noting: Traditional music videos generally don’t perform well on social platforms, especially when trying to reach and impress new audiences. They demand too much from the viewer and don’t look like native content.

But because you’ve invested so much time and money into creating your entire video, there’s pressure for that content to explode, even if it’s about to disappoint.

Does this mean that artists should NEVER make long videos?

Not exactly. But you should expect that if you are shooting a traditional music video, it will only appeal to a tiny percentage of your audience. If you’re still building your initial audience, your time will be much better spent creating new forms of video content.

This includes short videos for Reels, TikTok, Stories, Shorts, Snapchat or Spotify Canvas, as well as a mix of low cost options such as lyrics videos, art tracks, behind the scenes content, teasers and concert sequences.

How to make great video content, fast.

Speed ​​matters.

This is the age of the short video. There is not too much content.

The same tenants of YouTube’s success apply to short video – frequency, posting on a schedule, measuring engagement – but instead of having to invest a lot of time or money to make a long video, whatever you really need now is 15 seconds, interesting pictures and a good song or message.

You don’t need to run the daily hamster wheel of content creation. But neither can you disappear for weeks.

Artists need to post a steady stream of videos.

Why is frequent video output important:

  • The discovery of important artists and the virality of songs are happening on TikTok and Reels
  • Although the algorithms of these platforms are different, both reward creators who have an in-depth stream of content to browse, as it increases viewers’ watch time.
  • Plus, the more good stuff you post, the better your chances of getting a viral video (and the better off you’ll be at creating them)
  • Fans expect you to promote your music through short videos. that’s how they want to hear from you
  • Social video ads outperform other ads almost every time
  • Audiences also expect to interact with you through live streaming on Facebook, Instagram or Twitch
  • And YouTube is still the absolute giant for visually representing your music and brand, and a great place to post lyrics videos, interviews, and more.

Just think about how YOU react to online content. When it comes to grabbing and keeping attention, video is king. That’s why you’ll need a LOT of it.

Again, if this sounds stressful, you might be thinking of music videos in the old-school way I described above. In 2022, “music videos” don’t have to look like expensive productions or be full songs, because:

  1. “Genuine” replaced “perfect”
  2. The short has replaced the long
  3. And instant social consumption replaced video archiving

Thanks to a new partnership between CD Baby and Rotor, the automated video creation tool for musicians, you’ll have a much easier time creating music videos, lyric videos, concert announcements and other video teasers on a schedule. regular.

The fast way to create music videos

Until June 8, when you give away an album or single with CD Baby, you’ll also receive a FREE music video made by our friends Rotor Videos.

How do you create good video content on a regular schedule without breaking the bank or going crazy?

Let me repeat: not all videos need to be a “proper” music video.

Short video trends include skits, duets, dance trends, cover clips, tutorials, relatable stories about your music, and much more. It can be candid stuff that only takes a few minutes to film and post.

Creating a short video is one of the best ways to:

  • engage fans on a regular basis
  • get your music/brand known through repetition
  • experiment with different ways to promote the same release, the same hook, the same concert, the same product, etc.

In a world of social media, sometimes the less something is produced, the more people are likely to watch it. The more real and immediate, the better. Since most musicians are not professional videographers, this is good news for us. It relieves the pressure of having to make every video a polished masterpiece.

When it comes to longer videos, you can easily take advantage of:

Repurpose longer video content

Post your longer music videos, live streams, or concert videos to YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, then cut them into:

These short video elements give you new opportunities to engage listeners and further convey your brand/vibe.

Rely on automated video tools

Life is hectic, especially if you’re also composing songs, touring, or working day jobs. You don’t always want to create your own videos from scratch. That’s why CD Baby is thrilled to partner with Rotor to help you create an affordable music video. No software or editing skills required.

To create a video clip in minutes, here’s what you do:

1. Upload your song

2. Choose video clips from Rotor’s huge library, upload your own clips, or both

Make a video with Rotor

3. Choose from over 40 edit styles designed by professional directors and visual artists (you can see examples of each to determine the best mood for the song)

Music video editing styles

4. Let Rotor do its magic, analyzing your song and selected footage, then intelligently editing your video together to match the beat, tempo and intensity of your track

5. Add any text overlays you want

Add text to videos in Rotor

6. Preview the results

Preview videos in Rotor

7. If you like what you see, upload a professional quality video suitable for your music

The videos you make with Rotor are 100% yours. You can share them wherever you want, and Rotor doesn’t claim any rights once you’ve paid for the video (and you can always preview the video before paying). Take a look at some examples created by Rotor customers.

For example, I used Rotor to create a bunch of short teasers for my song “Paper Angels”. I posted one video a day before the release. Here’s a reel compiling all those teasers:

CD Baby’s Kevin Breuner did something similar using Rotor, but with the intent of testing different video ads. Check this story here.

While Rotor is a great tool for creating teasers, concert announcements, and more while you’re on the go, it’s just as useful for creating full-length music videos. Here’s a video Rotor created a few years ago when I first heard about the service:


Create a stunning FREE music video in minutes – no video production skills needed.

From now until June 8, when you submit music through CD Baby, you’ll receive credit to create a music video using Rotor, a video creation site for musicians.

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Here’s how Rotor works:

  • Download your song
  • Add your own video clips and/or clips from Rotor’s library
  • And apply video styling and captions
  • Rotor’s AI automatically edits everything to match the beat of your music

The result is professional-looking video for use on YouTube, streaming platforms, and social media, without video production skills or resources.

Free video offer ends June 8

Earn credit for a free Rotor video with every song or album you release with CD Baby.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Pay for distribution through cdbaby.com.
  2. You will receive a confirmation email with a link for your free credit through Rotor.
  3. Then click on the link and you will be redirected to a special page to redeem your credit.
  4. Log in or create an account on Rotor.
  5. A credit will be added to your account so you can create a video!

Why CDBaby?

Grow your audience – Wide distribution on over 150 platforms worldwide.

Other ways to monetize: streaming, downloads, sync licensing, social platform monetization, publishing royalties, etc.

No annual fees, keep 100% of your music rights: pay once to keep your music forever.

The help you need: Plenty of DIY resources and expert support from fellow musicians.

Community—Founded and run by musicians, for musicians.

Join us!

The music is not quite ready to be released?

No problem. Simply pay for distribution now and use your free video credit later.

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