[00:00:32] Speaker A: Hey, guys, it's Tariqa. And we're back with the Music Industry 360 podcast, part one of episode seven of Music Industry 360. We're going to be chatting about video distribution, so stay tuned for part two. We have two guests and I guess Vanessa, she's kind of considered a guest today.
[00:00:49] Speaker B: So three guests?
[00:00:50] Speaker A: Yes, three. Do you guys want to introduce yourselves?
[00:00:53] Speaker C: Hey, guys.
I didn't know who was going to go first, but my name is Alexandra, I'm the Digital Marketing Coordinator here at Symphonic.
[00:01:03] Speaker D: And I'm Lorenzo, the video creative designer here at Symphonic as well.
[00:01:07] Speaker B: And you guys already know me, I'm Vanessa, but I'm also a creative designer with Symphonic.
[00:01:13] Speaker A: Okay, so let's kick it off then. What exactly is video distribution?
[00:01:17] Speaker B: Video distribution is the process where you create a music video like you're an artist or you're a record label, and you have a music video created to go along with your track and you get it distributed to all the top platforms out there. One of the main things that I like to tell people is that your music video is meant to promote your track.
[00:01:35] Speaker D: It's a visual representation of your track, basically.
[00:01:40] Speaker A: So if I had a song about love and I just had Baby pigs in the video, that would not be cool.
[00:01:46] Speaker B: I mean, every artist can do their own they're the subject to their own artistic representation. We're not going to judge that. I mean, we'll get into later on the technical requirements, but if you love Baby Pigs, then it would work for you. So we're not one to judge on the content as long as it meets all the content guidelines by all the video partners. Okay, sweet.
[00:02:08] Speaker D: As well as if you want to be associated with baby pigs. So when they see that, they would know that that's your music, that's your style.
[00:02:15] Speaker A: Got you. So it'd be like a branding thing?
[00:02:17] Speaker D: Yes.
[00:02:17] Speaker A: Okay, so what is the main purpose of video distribution?
[00:02:22] Speaker B: Well, I think, like, we touched on it briefly, but it's to get your music out. There just another way to get your music heard through, just another visual format.
[00:02:32] Speaker D: And we mostly get your music video on the popular streaming stores and it gets you up to the same playing field as other mainstream artists and also gives you more credibility and be able to be verified as an artist.
[00:02:50] Speaker A: Okay, sweet. So what would you say is your favorite music video of all time, Vanessa?
[00:02:56] Speaker B: Oh, man. Just put on the spot like that. I mean, the first one that comes to mind, obviously, is Michael Jackson Thriller because that changed the whole music video scene. But I'd have to think about it because there's some great ones lately that people have gotten really creative with music videos. Like, sometimes I like the ones that are the one long shot I can't think of. It the one with the guys on the treadmills.
[00:03:17] Speaker A: Which one was that?
[00:03:18] Speaker B: Yeah, I think that's what it was. I just thought that was a really unique video.
[00:03:22] Speaker A: Okay, so, Lorenzo, you mentioned that video distribution can help indie artists to be on the same playing field as other artists. What would you say are some of the top video platforms out there?
[00:03:33] Speaker D: Most people? Well, it used to be itunes. It still is itunes in terms of overall industry standard, but most people want to get on Vivo because that's where the brand inside of it is when you look for music videos on YouTube. So YouTube is kind of becoming the new MTV, and well, Vivo is starting to be the new MTV, but everybody goes to YouTube first, so those are the two main big ones. And then for hip hop, it goes into Tidal, and they're the newest streaming partner in the game. And we also send out to Amazon videos, so we have a good mix of both purchasing and streaming opportunities.
[00:04:20] Speaker A: Okay, sweet. So what about MTV and VH One? You just talked about MTV a little bit.
[00:04:26] Speaker D: Times are changing. So MTV, at least here in the United States, they don't show music video as often as they used to. And most time it's like early in the morning that they show music videos. Like shows like TRL used to be around and be just kind of one of the staples, and they're just now trying to bring that back. So we don't know how that's going to really affect anything. But other parts of the world, MTV, VH One much music, all those TV channels, they still show countdowns and music videos during the day and primetime hours. So even though it's not big here, it's still big on TV there. But in terms of getting music videos on to those TV platforms, it's really hard to kind of move it up the chain as you compete against the mainstream artists and labels that have money to keep pushing it and are able to take the risk of being on TV.
[00:05:31] Speaker A: Right, got you.
[00:05:32] Speaker B: Yeah. That's the main thing that we like to tell people, is that at least with Symphonics video distribution program, we will guarantee as long as your video meets all the guidelines, your video will go live on all those platforms that we distribute to. But with MTV and VH One, it's not a guarantee.
[00:05:49] Speaker A: How long does video distribution take?
[00:05:53] Speaker B: I mean, for Symphony distribution, we recommend, if it's your first video, to actually do it about a month or two in advance, just because you need time to work on your branding, to work on your marketing, to partner with a PR firm to tease the video, tease your track release. But technically, if you really want to rush it out there and it's still your first video, we usually say about two weeks.
[00:06:15] Speaker A: Okay, that's not bad.
[00:06:16] Speaker D: Yeah, that's the very minimum that we would like.
Ideally, artists should do it months in advance, three months before the video goes live. So when it goes live, it also goes live when the track drops. So you need to kind of be a little bit forcecoming on how you're preparing your video and you release it and don't treat it as two different things. You have to treat it as part of the overall branding and your product. So if you wait and push it out you're going to catch your audience off guard.
[00:06:51] Speaker C: Yeah. And also giving it that far amount of time ahead that's going to help your ability to get a feature placement on, let's say, Vivo because they themselves, they have requirements to submit one to two weeks ahead of time. So we need to make sure everything's processed by then. So if you were to upload your video the same week to us that you want it released the chance of a feature placement is going to be really low.
[00:07:19] Speaker A: So what kind of music videos are there?
[00:07:22] Speaker D: It depends on the concept you're going for. Some music videos are performance based so either performing on a stage, performing that's not in a live setting, but it's still a performance nonetheless. And then there are story based music videos that can also be mixed in with live performance from daughters. But the story based one usually follows what the song is about or something entirely different concept wise.
[00:07:54] Speaker B: Usually what I see a lot of is like you were saying, the mix like how they start out and they're in maybe three different locations. Just like with hip hop they'll be rapping the song but then it'll cut to a storyline where they're walking with somebody and they're going somewhere. It's kind of like a mixture. That's what I see a lot.
[00:08:11] Speaker D: Yeah. And a lot of times artists is not exactly the main character. They're like the background band and then they have a main character for the video so they're not really integrated into the visual story even though some art music videos do that and some just perform like traditional hip hop videos or rock videos that just them performing at a location. So there's a broad spectrum on how many styles of music videos that's out there.
[00:08:44] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean we also have like lyric videos. Those are acceptable as well as long as they're well produced. They're not like the karaoke style video. I've seen some really good lyric videos like the Bouncing Mickey or something like sing along songs. Don't want that. But I've seen some really well done lyric videos actually some done by Lorenzo through Symphonic because we offer that.
[00:09:05] Speaker D: Well bare minimum animation but yeah, we offer it. But it all comes down to an idea for the video. If you have an idea and a vision for the video that will help kind of have the overall video be like that other than just being cool, everything can be cool but unless you know what the cool thing is, you can't show it in the video.
[00:09:28] Speaker C: Something I've noticed, too, with feature placements on Vivo is I've noticed they tend to choose a lot of features that have a unique storyline to them that isn't necessarily heard in the lyrics, but is its own unique story that they come up with for the video. So I personally enjoy those the most, too. They're more entertaining. It's like more of a mini movie.
[00:09:51] Speaker A: Yeah.
[00:09:51] Speaker B: It should draw people in with the opening scene. I know those like, okay, we have something right away that grabs your attention and makes you watch it and makes you give them that one view. Counting the views, definitely.
[00:10:05] Speaker D: Yeah. And the one thing that we try to recommend to artists is try to make the video be unique in their own style. Because we do come across videos that are the basic music video stereotype that we come across. The hip hop video was girls dancing everywhere, money flying everywhere, drugs, cars. So it kind of falls in gets lost in the sea of music videos because we all seen that type of music video. So when you're trying to stand out, that style of video gets lost in that genre because you're not standing out enough, because everybody wants to do the same thing.
[00:10:50] Speaker A: So what are some technical requirements for a music video to be approved?
[00:10:55] Speaker B: Well, in regards to actually all of our video partners, but like, itunes probably has the most specifications, but the main thing is, like, it should be an HD video, 1920 by 1080. I don't want to go into too many specifications because it'll just fly over in one's heads because there's a lot of phrases.
[00:11:12] Speaker D: Yeah, a lot of the specs is kind of what the current trend is. The video has to be high definition because there's no way to get around that, because that's what everybody has access to. Now, no matter where you are, people have widescreen TVs or Internet access on the phone or TV, so everything has to be in HD. And Auto partners mentioned that they want everything in HD, and HD means like a minimum seven hundred and twenty P, and that's standard. And then it goes up to the 1080 HD, and you can do high res four K, two K, but pretty much anything minimum to 720p wide is accepted by all partners.
[00:12:02] Speaker C: And does P stand for pixels?
[00:12:04] Speaker A: Yes.
[00:12:05] Speaker D: Okay.
Now it's more or less becoming square pixels. Everything else has a pixel aspect ratio, and that changes based on TV stuff. But since we're doing video distribution that we offer is mostly online, everything needs to be square pixels. So it just makes it easier so you don't have to worry about any kind of weird scrunching of the video footage going from one format to another.
[00:12:31] Speaker B: Laurent, can you just mention briefly about that's? Just no, it's just something very yeah, because that's something we get a lot, where people will send something that it looks good, but when you look at the quality, it's actually like five megabits per second, which is what is really low quality. It's called bitrate.
[00:12:50] Speaker D: It's the bitrate, basically is how much data is moving from per second as the video is playing. So you need like at least ten, up to 50, sometimes 150 megabytes per second.
And the lower the megabytes, even though that will make a smaller file size, it will make your video look like slower, or the frame rate will look off to you because it will not show as much detail, especially if you have a high intensity video.
We usually recommend right now, 50 megabits per second, and you can still get not a huge video after it. So just try not to compress it too much because we always get videos that are the right size, but the bitrate is not there. So when you watch it, it looks off because of the frame rate and the data is not there to make it look as sharp as it should be.
[00:13:42] Speaker B: And we actually offer like people can, if they're unsure before they submit the video for distribution, they can actually send it to us and we'll review it for them and just give them pointers saying like, hey, remove this or add this. We're willing to help you out with that so that you aren't wasting your time.
[00:13:57] Speaker A: Okay?
[00:13:57] Speaker D: Yeah. And one thing with videos is that even though it's supposed to market your music, you don't need all the marketing on screen.
[00:14:07] Speaker B: Oh, yeah, like social media links, the credits, all that stuff.
[00:14:10] Speaker D: Because we always come across videos that were either already shared on their personal and they have all these social media or these YouTube cards or end slates for people to go to the website and so on autopilot, they just want a clean video. They don't want all this extra marketing stuff. They really don't want videos to have dates on screen or websites or social media handles, because dates can change. Social media platform, popular ones could change. So you don't want somebody to discover your music. 510, 15 years down the road, they've discovered, let's say like a Lincoln Park video, they watch it and if it says, like, check out our album coming out in 2015 and you're watching it in 2025, that video already after you watch it, you already feel like it's dated because you saw that date in the video. So if you don't have any other date in the video, then it will keep the video timeless as for future viewers to be able to watch it. And same thing will go to social media platforms.
[00:15:18] Speaker B: That URLs can change, handles can change.
[00:15:22] Speaker D: Yeah. Orders can get dropped from the label, labels can change. So a lot of it, they just wanted to keep it clean as possible.
[00:15:29] Speaker C: And also, I mean, you can't even click the link if it's in the like it's not a URL. You can just click on and go to. So it's definitely better to just have those in your description.
[00:15:39] Speaker D: Yeah. And when we put videos on Vivo, it's not like a regular YouTube channel. So it's not as customizable as people are used to with their own personal YouTube. So you don't have as much control to throw in a card or put a link to another video.
It's limited because it's going through the Vivo platform. So you can't do the same thing you would do with a normal YouTube channel.
[00:16:04] Speaker B: So clean video, you can put the title and the artist. A lot of people do that as long as it looks like it's part of the video. But just the best thing would be to just fade in from black, fade out to black, like no credits, no social media, anything like that. That's the best method to go with.
[00:16:20] Speaker A: Okay, so YouTube and Vivo are two of the biggest video platforms out there. What would you say are the main differences?
[00:16:28] Speaker C: So the main difference to start is the fact that YouTube is really limitless in terms of the type of video content uploaded to the platform, whereas Vivo is solely for music video content.
And just to kind of dive into some more specific differences with your normal YouTube channel, you have the ability to quickly and easily manage all parts of the channel whenever you want. And that's really nice to be able to upload and take videos down quickly at the time that you feel and also to just privatize videos when you feel like it.
And you can also interact with your YouTube fans through comments and messages and likes a lot quicker than Vivo. And another huge aspect of having a personal YouTube channel that a lot of people don't necessarily take advantage of is the YouTube creator studio. And that is going to tell you how you can track your analytics, you can see your traffic sources, what kind of people are viewing your videos, so you can better target your content even on other platforms when you're talking to your fans, holding contests, that kind of, you know. Now live streaming has become know on all types of platforms on Twitter, Facebook and now YouTube. So you can definitely take advantage of that if you want some more interaction with your, you know, with having your personal YouTube channel, it does become less likely for your videos to go viral unless they're optimized correctly and I'll get a little bit more into optimization and what that means in a couple minutes. So with Vivo on the other hand, you can't update the channel yourself, but you can have a distributor like Symphonic update your details per request.
And even though having a Vivo channel does make you look more legit as an artist, it doesn't guarantee more exposure. Although with feature requests that we put out for our clients, we gain features every week on Vivo and that does give your videos the potential to go viral.
[00:19:01] Speaker B: So from that description, it makes you think that, like, oh, should the artist just stick with their own channel then, versus Vivo channel? Or do you think they should have both?
[00:19:09] Speaker C: I personally think that you should have both. You should have for your official music videos, I would go with Vivo.
And what you can actually do is link both of your channels, your Vivo channel and your personal channel by creating a playlist on both, linking the videos from both channels. And you can also feature the other channel on the right side of your channel. And that's a nice quick step that you can do to just kind of link the two.
[00:19:40] Speaker B: Yeah, and you can just toggle back and use a private use. Because people have asked me sometimes in emails, I actually use Beyonce as an example because she has a personal channel and a Vivo branded YouTube channel. And when you look at her Vivo channel, it's just her official music videos and that's it. But if you go to her personal channel, she has a playlist there that says official music videos and it's all her Vivo videos. And then on her personal channel, she just has the behind the scenes videos and then live performance videos, like any Vlogs that she's done. So that's how she kind of uses both. And then, like you said, on the featured channels on the side there, she has her, you know, listed on the personal one and then vice versa. The personal one on the page.
[00:20:24] Speaker C: Yeah, yeah. I definitely think that's the way to go. I think you're trying to decide between two. Just go with both.
[00:20:30] Speaker D: As you know, Vanessa really studied about Beyonce page.
[00:20:35] Speaker B: I am a fan of Beyonce. Yes.
[00:20:37] Speaker C: Same.
[00:20:38] Speaker A: Thanks for tuning in to part one of our video distribution chat. Stay tuned for part two where we'll be talking about video monetization and YouTube optimization. See ya.