As a video creator, how do you build your channel’s identity? Sure, there’s your visual aesthetic, shooting style, and how you tell your story. But, the music you use – both for intros and for music beds – can set the tone and give your audience important cues about the type of creator you are.
Music is your sonic branding. It plays a huge role in how people perceive you, and it’s integral to your personal brand. So what kind of creator are you, and how do you want to be seen? Are you a research-heavy tech blogger? A rebellious thought leader? A travel-hungry hipster?
In this blog post, we’ll show you how to analyse the music used by other creators to help you find the sound that best fits your channel.
Analyse the sound of other creators
Using this technique, you’ll be able to quickly narrow your music searches and get back to creating your content even faster.
- Find another creator whose music choices you like. Think about the sort of mood that you feel when listening. What is it about the music that you like? Does it lend the presenter greater authority or authenticity? Does it make you, as a viewer, feel relaxed or energised?
- If possible, find the track the creator has used. This can sometimes be tricky, but some creators shout out the music they’ve used in video descriptions.
- Analyse that music using the free Musiio Tag Demo. You can drop in SoundCloud and YouTube URLs or audio files. In this example, we’ve analysed a track that we liked from three different YouTube creators. We’re looking for a track that’s indicative of a creator’s sound so we can assess their sonic identity. As you’ll see, each of these creators has a different aesthetic, and their musical choices reinforce that.
- Keep a list of tags that show up on tracks you like.
Here are some examples:
American YouTuber, filmmaker, and entrepreneur Casey Neisat gained popularity for his daily vlogs and unique style of storytelling and cinematography. He’s also known for using music by lesser-known artists that are often on SoundCloud, who he features in his video descriptions. He tends to use downtempo lo-fi tracks as music beds. The track we’ve picked is ‘All I Am’ by Dyalla, who features in the video titled The Greatest Gift. Interestingly, the track is tagged with a medium recording quality, probably on account of the lo-fi production style. The Downtempo genre and Optimistic and Chill moods are part of Niestat’s sonic identity and personal brand.
Canadian photographer and filmmaker Peter McKinnon is known for his tutorials, review content and shooting breathtaking scenery. With his leather jackets, tattoos and high-energy persona, his aesthetic is more rugged. Consequently, the music that he chooses is more indie and rock-centric to convey that energy. The main intro track used in this video is indicative, which is tagged with the moods Powerful, Quirky and Angry by our AI. He sources these tracks from top-tier production music provider (and Musiio customer) Epidemic Sound.
MKBHD is the king of YouTube tech vloggers. His approachable, honest reviews can make or break new products, and with 16.7M subscribers, he has the clout to interview Bill Gates and Elon Musk. His image is clean-cut and no-nonsense. As such, his videos are always bright, well-lit and easy to follow. Although he doesn’t use masses of background music, he has a playlist of tracks that he uses for video intros, and this sets the tone for his presentation. They range from electronic to hip-hop, and this time we’re examining an indicative track by Jordyn Edmunds.
Advice for video creators
There are loads of fantastic places to look for stock music. Now that you have mood, genre and energy tags from tracks you like, this can become a ready-made set of terms for filtering music on music licensing sites.
For example, if you tend to like tracks that have Downtempo and Chill tags, you can use these terms to begin refining catalogue searches to save yourself time listening to irrelevant tracks.
Even if the catalogue you’re searching doesn’t use Musiio tech, this analysis should help you understand the sorts of tags you could use to narrow your music search.
Advice for music licensing sites for video creators
For music licensing sites looking to better connect with video creators, think about building playlists based on the sound of the world’s top creators. For example, you could drop a track used by Casey Niestat into the Musiio Tag demo. Then, you could use the tags to build an automated playlist titled “Inspired by Casey Niestat”.
By building playlists inspired by well-known creators, you’re talking the language of the creator community. Best of all, it gives users another path into your catalogue that doesn’t require knowledge of musical keywords or genres.