My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: YouTube and the Lyrics Videos Trend - How Lyrics Videos ride the Streaming Trend as Musicians Cash in on Sing-Along Craze

Friday, September 5, 2014

YouTube and the Lyrics Videos Trend - How Lyrics Videos ride the Streaming Trend as Musicians Cash in on Sing-Along Craze

Since my last article on the rise of YouTube Celebrities being more popular than Hollywood Celebrities among Millennials as explained in my blog article entitled “Variety Survey says YouTubers more popular than Hollywood Celebrities – Popularity driven by Teenage Fandoms and iCarly Effect”, I’ve begun to watch more YouTube Channels instead of just random Videos.

So I was surprised to discover yet another phenomenon is on the rise, that being the Lyric Video as stated in “The surprising rise of YouTube Lyrics Videos”, published August 31, 2014 4:00 AM PDT by Joan E. Solsman, CNET News, which I’ve noticed before but never paid any real attention. Musicians and Artists, apparently realizing the sing-along appeal of their songs, are now cashing in, making commercial-Free Lyrics Videos on their YouTube Vevo Channels.

Not surprising that this works so well for Musicians and Artiste, as many times, before an Official Music Video is out, fans would often make a Lyrics Video for the Artiste. In fact, most of the time when you search for a particular Song for an Artiste or band, you’ll invariably bump into a fan-made Lyrics Video instead that usually poor on graphics but has the words to the song all figured out.

Many a cheerleader, playwright in Stage production or event planners planning a Karaoke session, Wedding or a Graduation often scour the Internet for Lyrics Websites just to learn the Lyrics for some of these popular songs. Lyrics Videos hearken back to the days of LP and CD that had those cool Album art and the Lyrics written inside, so you could sing along with your favourite Artiste.

This idea of getting persons to enjoy the whole Album and the song Lyrics was possibly the inspiration for Beyonce Knowles or just Beyonce aka Queen B releasing her self-titled Beyonce on iTunes Album with full Video and Audio Tracks sans the hype machine typically associated with her Music as stated in my blog article entitled “Beyonce's latest Album released entirely on Apple iTunes - Queen Bee's Cornucopia Breaking Bad iTunes records via an efficient Music Delivery monetizing Music Videos eye-Candy”.

She wanted her audience to fall in love with her Music as it was, not because she was Beyonce, but because they liked her Music as it was. This is what a Lyrics Videos does, actually, as by acting as a fan-made placeholder until the Official Video comes out, fans get to love the Artiste Music by learning the Lyrics before the symbolism-laden Music Video comes out.

Lyrics Videos and Musicians – Lyrics Videos takes advantage of Trend of Video and Audio Streaming

So the reasoning behind the popularity of Lyrics Videos isn’t at all surprising; we just wanna know what the Artiste was saying when they sing their songs. Even here in Jamaica, a popular section of the Jamaica Star Newspaper features the Lyrics of the songs of some of the more popular Dancehall Artists written within, as it’s the main reason many read their Tabloid.

As most of the popular Lyrics Videos are on YouTube, they’re taking advantage of the recent trend towards Video and Audio Streaming based on the Nielsen Stats as noted in my blog article entitled “Nielsen Stats record continued decline in Music Downloads - Developed World Streaming will catch on in Developed World once we get 4G LTE”.

Evidence of the Nielsen Stats being truthful can be seen from Apple’s move to invest in Streaming via the still much talked about acquisition of Beats Electronics for some US$3.2 billion as stated in my blog article entitled Apple officially confirms Beats Audio Purchase - US$3.2 Billion as Apple gears up for Subscription Streaming and improved Headphones”.

Tessanne Chin’s sales of her Album Count On My Love were slow because of the shift towards Streaming as I’d concluded based on my simple statistics analysis my blog article entitled “Why Tessanne Chin’s Count on My Love isn't selling – Streaming is now King as she needs to Experiment with Writing her OWN Songs”.

Tessanne Chin’s management has since taken the hint and launched her Album on Spotify and possibly other Streaming Platforms.

More interestingly, the stats from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which reported a 51% increase in streaming subscription services, allowing the Music Industry to realize US$1 billion for the first time. This acted as a counterweight to the continued slide of Digital CD and Music Downloading, which the Nielsen Stats had mentioned, thus adding knowledge to what was already confirmed.

Lyric Videos are riding on this very same trend, powered by smartphones with meatier RAM and faster 4G LTE Networks in the US of A. Thus, expect this streaming trend to come to Jamaica once Telecom Providers such as Digicel complete the Fiber Optic Upgrades necessary to launch a 4G LTE Network as noted in my blog article entitled “Digicel’s Fiber Optic Network has July 2014 Completion Date – Launchpad for 4G LTE, Frame Relay, FTTH and Cloud Based PBX Services”.

YouTube and Lyrics Videos - Cashing in on the Craze to Sing-Along that a Music Awards Category

Google owned YouTube has realized that this trend is just a Video version of online subscribers Googling for Lyrics Websites. To this end, they've decided to ride the popularity of Music Videos in General and launch a Video Subscription Service similar to Spotify called YouTube Music Key as stated in “Exclusive: This Is YouTube Music Key, Google's Upcoming Subscription Service With Offline Support, Background Audio, No Ads, Free Play Music”, published 18-08-2014 by Liam Spradlin, Android Police.

Not sure why anybody would pay to do the same thing that you can do on your computer by just logging in with your Google Account, subscribing to a YouTube Channel for a fix of your favourite Music Artiste and then creating a custom playlist.

Also, Google already has a Google Play Music that has an All Access Music Subscription option for those persons toting a Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Stick as I'd pointed out in my blog article entitled “Google Play Music’s All Access Music Subscription Three months Free Streaming - Happy Birthday as Google Chromecast fights Amazon fire TV”.

Still, they're recorded success with Lyrics Videos, with some interesting stats for Videos with the word “Official audio” and “Lyric Video” in the title. These are the same Lyrics Videos, just not the Official Video for the Artiste.

In the first 8 months of 2011, they hosted some 2 days worth of Lyrics Videos that could be found using those search terms. That figures has now skyrocketed to 81 days. Similarly the Vevo Music Channel, owned via a partnership between YouTube and Major Music Labels, had just under 400 Lyrics Videos during the entire year 2012.

Now they have some 2000 Lyrics Videos, all acting as placeholders until the Music Artiste or Band decided to make an Official Music Video.

Lyrics Video vs Official Video – More Love for Lyrics Videos via positive Thumbs up 

That's where things get interesting.

When the a Music Artiste or Band finally makes an Official Music Video, in many cases the Lyrics Videos continue to be more popular than the Official Video. Case in point is Katy Perry's Happy Birthday, a song that came out in her Album PRISM in 2013. First here's Katy Perry's own Lyrics Video.

And for comparison, here's the Official Video for Happy Birthday

Logically, the Fan-made Lyrics Videos as well as Katy Perry's own Lyrics Video was up long before the Official Video, so there will always be more visitors to her Lyrics Videos than her YouTube Videos. But if you look at the likes i.e. Thumbs up vs Thumbs down for both Videos, you'll realize that there's more love for the Katy Perry's own Lyrics Video than the officially sanctioned Music Video for Happy Birthday!

So Lyrics Videos, even those made by the Artiste themselves, get more love than the Official Music Videos. Even the Video Music Awards are now catching on to this trend, creating a special category for Lyrics Videos.

In August 2014, MTV created the “Nest Lyric Video” Category just for this musical genre. In keeping with the fan-based origins of Lyrics Videos, MTV allowed the winner to b chose via hashtag voting via Twitter, Vine or Instagram. some 166.2 million votes were registered for the Top Lyric Video, compared to 2013, when the category was named “Best Song of the Summer”, which garnered 11.8 million votes.

Powered by this trend of Streaming on Mobile Computing devices such as smartphones, Tablets and Laptops, Lyrics Videos are finally getting their day in the Sun.

YouTube Music Videos – Great Online Entertainment once you’ve subscribed to the Right Channels

For all intents and purposes, thanks to Video Streaming via YouTube, I’ve basically stopped watching Local Television all together, opting to get my News from Reading Newspaper online as well as Social Media Channels such as Facebook and Twitter as I’ve explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “Pew Research posits 3 in 10 get their News via Facebook as Paper set to go live”.

My list of YouTube Channels has grown considerably as well:

1.      2NE1
2.      CNET TV
3.      DNews
4.      Rebecca Black
5.      Revision3 Games
6.      Rihanna
7.      ScreenJunkies
8.      Smosh
9.      TestTube
12.  Veritasium

Just as when I was at UWI (University of the West Indies) doing my Degree, I realize that you have to have access to a computer with Broadband Internet, both for work and well as for pleasure as I’ve concluded in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to connect Xbox One controller to any Computer or Laptop”.

Eventually I’ll update my list with more Music Channels, with Lyrics Videos added to my serving, as I realize that sometimes, I do like to know what the Artiste is saying so I can sing-along with the song as well.

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