What Is A Lyric Video?

 With the rise of YouTube taking over the internet it's changed the game for a lot of video and animation production. One big area it changed was music videos, RIP MTV. Out of that larger change came the rise of a newer type of content that is really being capitalized on by record labels, the lyric video.

So what is a lyric video? A lyric video is basically a music video that focuses on showing the lyrics to the song on screen as the song is played.

A simple idea, but it's taking off and becoming a popular genre for labels to get more content out there for their bands, and thusly becoming a new area for animators to capitalize on for work.

I'm not a historian on lyric videos but from what I've been able to gather it's been an evolution process that started early on YouTube. People quickly wanted to make it so if one wanted to listen to music on YouTube that would be possible, because labels at first were either reluctant or just not interested in uploading official videos for the music.

So at first you'd get a lot of videos going up that were just pictures of the album cover and the song playing. That was pretty popular for a while but people are more inventive than that. With programs like Windows Movie Maker where you could edit text easily using pre-made transitions people began creating videos with the lyrics written out on screen.

 You gotta love that Windows Movie Maker blue background it's a classic.

This went on for a while, with people doing slightly fancier versions that include pictures, or more animated transitions. It wasn't until later that animators would get involved to take these simple lyric videos into what they are now.

The first lyric video I can remember being spread around the internet and not just something that someone made in 10 minutes was Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You." It was put up originally as a place holder until the official video could be released. This, from what I witnessed of the evolution, is where the lyric video really took of and became it's own genre.

Now lyric videos are used by bands and labels for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, like with "Fuck You," they'll be posted ahead of when the official video is supposed to be out to capitalize on the popularity of a song on the radio or maybe to try to get more people's attention ahead of the official release. It's also become a popular channel for B-sides to be released. When a new album comes out with a big hit, lyric videos can be made as additional content for those albums to go with the other songs that aren't released as singles.

I've been making some lyric videos myself over the past year or so and it's a pretty nice little gig to have. The creative direction for them is usually very open, and when it's not it's usually just trying to go off of whatever album art the song may already be associated with. The budgets usually aren't huge, and the turn around is usually pretty quick (I got one job Friday afternoon and they needed it Monday morning) but for something that usually has no expenses in making it (depending on how you design it of course) it's not a bad gig.

 It's also a field that is booming right now, more and more bands and labels releasing lyric videos. Katy Perry releases a ton of them. Also if you work smart they can be pretty fun little projects, go in with an animation style that lends itself to copying and pasting to all the lyrics and you'll have a much easier time making the project.

While not as respected as official videos and looked at sometimes as kind of additional filler content, lyric videos are a new niche for animators that is growing rapidly and can be capitalized on if you're interested in making a music video that animates and focuses on the lyrics of the song being represented on screen. So if you can handle a crazy turn around, why not give lyric videos a try!

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Chew, Johnny. "What Is A Lyric Video?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2016, thoughtco.com/what-is-a-lyric-video-4078946. Chew, Johnny. (2016, August 26). What Is A Lyric Video? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-lyric-video-4078946 Chew, Johnny. "What Is A Lyric Video?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-lyric-video-4078946 (accessed November 24, 2017).