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Lyric Videos: The who, what, when, where, and whys

Lyric Videos: The who, what, when, where, and whys

The lyric video. We all know what they are, right? If not, it’s pretty self-explanatory. You don’t have to be an expert in lyric video production to know what it is. So why are lyric videos so popular these days and what purpose do they serve? Let’s take a dive into the who, what, when, where, and why lyric videos may be a necessity for any artist.

So where did the first lyric video come from? Well, the concept of putting lyrics in video can go back decades and decades. Television shows for children, movies, and early music videos. For example, in 1986, R.E.M’s song “Fall On Me” featured lyrics. However, that’s a bit more of a traditional music video that just happened to include lyrics.

Back in 1990, George Michael released a music video for “Praying for Time”. Kind of like how you would see a fan generated Windows Movie Maker video. The lyric video production was simply white lyrics on a black background going along with the song. Jumping forward to 2010 when professional lyric videos started to gain steam. CeeLo Green’s iconic “F*ck You” video. Great, catchy song, with a really cool and innovative (for the time) way to get people to sing along.

What’s Your Point About a Lyric Video?

So, what’s the point? Well we know that fans love to sing along and know the lyrics to their favorite songs. A lyric video production gives them an interactive and engaging way to learn the song. The benefit for the artist is that it can be much more cost efficient to create a lyric video than it would to shoot a full-blown music video.

In the beginning of 2013, Billboard changed some of their rules on how a song can chart. In addition to radio play and sales, streaming music data started to count towards overall spins. Thus, becoming a new avenue for artists to find their way up the charts.

If increasing your chances of flying up the billboard charts doesn’t excite you, perhaps an MTV award would. In August of 2014, MTV added a new category to their Video Music Awards ceremony, “Best Lyric Video”.