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Music Video Distribution: What Are The Steps To It?

music video distribution

Watching a music video adds a visual and emotional element to the experience of listening to a song as it allows users to see the artist’s performance, the story that is portrayed in the video, and the visual aesthetics that accompany the music. All of those elements explained the rise of music videos for the past 2 decades. However, what are the steps to it?

Before we jump into the steps, you can have a look at which distribution services can support you with music video distribution in our article on the top 4 music distribution services in 2023

Benefits of music video distribution

Music video distribution offers more benefits than just giving audiences a visual understanding of your music. Here are some additional advantages for independent musicians to this type of distribution: 

Increase visibility

According to a survey by Music Watch,  56% of audiences discover new artists through video content, compared to 39% who discover new artists through streaming services. Given the strong impact that music videos can have on audiences, leveraging this distribution option can be an effective way to increase your visibility. 

Besides that, music videos are often easier to share and can generate more engagement on social platforms. Besides music Tidal, Vevo, and Youtube, music videos on TikTok are having a rise in engagement. 

Given that videos are the main feature of TikTok and the platform boasts a wide range of users who rely on it for entertainment, leveraging music videos on this platform can be a powerful way to build a strong connection with your audiences and gain new fans.

Opportunities for monetization and revenue generation 

Music videos offer numerous opportunities for independent artists to generate revenue streams beyond direct sales, that’s why most record labels also include music videos as a part of their distribution strategy. For example, YouTube allows artists to monetize their videos through ads that run before or during the video. Moreover, the YouTube Content ID feature enables artists to monetize any other account that reposts your video, creating additional revenue streams. 


To unlock your opportunities for video monetization, sign up for our newsletter to get the first access to our extensive guide on this. 

4 steps for a successful music video distribution 

1. Define your target audience 

Defining your target audience is the first and most critical step in planning your music video distribution strategy. It is essential to have a clear understanding of your audience and create a video that resonates with them. Ask yourself who your ideal viewer is and who you should create the video for. 

Consider the age range, interests, and preferences of your target audience. Avoid making a video that only appeals to your friends and family who support you. Instead, create a video that will capture the attention of your target audience and help you reach a broader fan base. If you still struggle with determining who is your target audience, read our article on how to understand your fanbase. 

2. Budgeting for distribution cost 

After having an idea of who you are making this video for and the plan for how your music video would look, you need to consider the costs of making a music video. With that plan in mind of what you want in your video and how it would look like, you need to have a budget to make it possible. 

The cost of producing a music video for an independent artist in the States can vary greatly depending on factors such as the location, production quality, equipment used, and the expertise of the crew. However, a music video can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. 

Moreover, the cost to distribute your music video can depend on the service you use. Popular digital distribution companies include Tunecore, DistroKid, and CDBaby with prices ranging from free to several hundred dollars depending on the commission and fee they take. To learn more about each music video distribution service fee, check out our extensive review of the top 4 music distribution services in 2023. 

3. Create a timeline and action plan for distribution 

Understanding that distributing a music video will take a long period and effort, artists need to have a clear timeline to make sure that the process can run smoothly. Compared to making music in a studio, which can often be done by yourself, music video production would require more than you. On top of that, the timing for a music video is also important as it can impact how much people will view your work. 

For example, if you want to distribute a music video about Christmas, you need to have a specific plan to make the video for it to be able to have the video ready before Christmas. Opt into our newsletter as we will have a 101 on how you can create a timeline for distribution!

4. Be aware of the guidelines

However, it is crucial to make sure that your video does not violate any guidelines of the streaming platforms. You don’t want your work to be taken down. So before making your videos, do research on any platforms that you are planning to distribute your music on their guidelines, and follow them.
For example, Youtube will take down videos that contain graphic sexual content or nudity that involves minors, so your video should not include any of those elements. 

Prepare your music video for distribution 

Now that you have understood all the criteria that you need before the distribution process, you can work on preparing your video for distribution.

Ensure the video quality 

A factor that can affect your music video performance is the quality of your video.  Edit and finalize the video, check the quality before distribution

For example, YouTube has specific requirements for the videos that are uploaded to the platform that you would need to follow: 

  • File format
  • Minimum audio-visual duration
  • Framerate
  • Aspect ratio  

Also, you need to add relevant metadata, tags, and captions to the video to boost the visibility of your video and your Youtube or Vevo channel on those platforms. These will let the platform know what kind of genre your music video is and suggest your video to the right target audience. 


Set up a budget for social ads 

With around 3.7m new videos uploaded to YouTube every day, the competition is at an all-time high to stand out on video platforms. Hence, to make sure you target the right person and deliver results for your hard-earning product, running ads is a needed investment for music video distribution. 

Similar to your song’s release, you can’t compete in this fast-pacing industry by simply putting out your music. To ensure a successful music video launch, you can run ads for your music using music promotion services like Base for Music - generating sponsored campaigns across social networks such as Facebook, TikTok, Youtube, and Spotify. Sign in for a free account today! 

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