Video and video streaming creates more options to get your music videos played than ever before. Make video content and open these opportunities for your music.
In the last article in our “get heard and seen” series we talked about television options you can target to get seen and your music heard. But television is only a part of the story — in this last article in our series, we’ll explore additional video and video streaming options that are easier to get seen and heard on.
The Internet reinvented video, and today there are more options available than ever before to get broadcasted. As we discuss in other articles, you’ll have the most success when you focus on specific audience segments and niches that are already predisposed to like your music. So, knowing your audience is key.
Your video channels
Naturally, when you have music videos and content to share, your first stop should be your own video channel on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, or wherever you decide to make your videos available. This is fully under your own control, and you might want to consider creating a video release schedule since sites like YouTube reward regularly released content. For ideas as to what to create, check out “Eight music video ideas to help grow your YouTube channel.”
Your live streaming sites and channels
Today there are a ton of options for live streaming sites and channels, including YouTube Live, Twitch, Periscope, and YouNow. These options let you start streaming live to the entire world simply by pointing a camera at yourself. Naturally, doing this right and creating a compelling show takes effort, and good lighting and excellent sound will make a world of difference in how you’re perceived.
You can run your own live streams and shows out of your home and end up streaming to bar, arena, and stadium-sized groups of people if you can build an audience. Check out our previous two-part articles “Maximizing your revenue when streaming live shows.”
There are a multitude of vlogs, video podcasts, YouTube channels, and other shows that are pre-recorded and looking for music content. These channels and the shows they produce are approachable and may feature your music or include your music video content — all you need to do is reach out and submit. Note that since anyone can create their own video channel show, you’ll want to target those with a sizable audience that relates to your segment/niche.
Live streaming channels and shows
This is the live-show cousin of the above video channels. These streaming channels act just like TV, but “broadcast” through the Internet. There are a multitude of shows and channels putting on regular content, and many of them feature musicians. Just as with video channels, since anyone can put on a show, you’ll want to target those with larger audiences.
Before you begin, you’ll want the following at-the-ready:
Your profiles and streaming platforms
Getting seen on video and video streaming sites can help grow the audience for your music, so you’ll want to get your music on streaming sites first. That way, if any of your songs get featured, your new fans will be able to easily find your music.
Another good idea is to link to playlists or add your music or samples to your artist website, social media sites, and your video channel. After all, if you get seen on television, you want your new fans to be able to find you, subscribe, and listen. None of that is possible if you aren’t set up and ready-to-go at the start.
Shows on video streaming likely want a band bio to learn more about you and your music so they can talk about you during the show.
Make sure you have a link to images show producers can use for the station’s coverage. They often will request this since they flash a band/artist or album photo during the segment.
Links to all your sites and profiles
You’ll want to provide any television or video streaming channel with links to your sites and profiles because they will often like to post.
Simple tracking system (spreadsheet)
You’ll need to keep track of who, where, and when you sent your music and any supporting press kit materials. You can even use simple spreadsheets such as Google Sheets, which is free.
How to make money
Getting your music played on video and video streaming shows can earn you performance royalties, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re in the composition PROs like ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. Depending on the nature of your performance, you may need to submit a cue sheet to inform your PRO exactly when and where your music was performed.
Also, you’ll also want to make sure that you are participating in video royalty ad share programs like YouTube’s ContentID and similar programs on other platforms.
For more detailed info about how royalties work and the 14 registrations you should do to protect your music and ensure you get all the money that’s owed you, see the “Licensing and Royalties” chapter of our book, Making Money With Music.
How to get played
Once you’re registered to get all the royalties owed to you and have your music and bio ready to go, here’s how you can get your music onto these types of outlets.
Your video channels
Because this is entirely under your control, the key to your video channels isn’t just to get your music posted, but to set up everything possible to get your music recommended by the video platform’s algorithms. You’ll want to fill out all the keywords, create a release schedule with regular content, and promote it on all of your social media channels.
Your live streaming sites and shows
If you decide to create your own live shows or live music series, you’ll want to compete with all the other options out there by using professional-quality lighting, great sound equipment, and high-quality cameras. Of all of these, the sound is the most important part to get right.
To get your music video content played on other people’s channels, reach out to whoever runs the channel to see if they would like to cover your music. One of the better strategies to getting featured is to choose non-music sites that tackle topics or subjects related to your music. That way, your music stands out from the crowd.
Live streaming channels and shows
You’ll find some of the more popular live streaming shows require you to follow a submission process, but others are less formal, so, simply reaching out can work. Although there are plenty of music-related shows, one of the better ways to get featured is to choose non-music sites that cover topics or subjects related to your music.
Music video festivals
There are a surprising number of music video festivals covering every genre and style of music you can imagine all across the globe. Some that feature music videos include the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX and the Encounters Film Festival in the UK.
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In the past, the biggest hurdle for musicians was getting on the limited radio and television channels available to get their music heard. Today, there are more options than ever before. The challenge is figuring out which option to target given the music you make. Then, it’s all about contacting people and submitting your music and music video content.
This article is the last in our multi-part “get heard and seen” series. Get out there and get your music heard and seen so you can grow your fan base and make more money with your music!
How to get your music played on television
Using niches to grow your fanbase
How to produce a compelling live stream show
Easy fixes to improve the lighting in your videos
Improving the audio in your streaming broadcasts and videos