Marketing Tools

Tools: LyricFind


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LyricFind has built a robust business around the licensing of verified lyrics – powering Google’s lyrics search, displaying lyrics across streaming platforms, delivering vetted lyric translations, making custom lyric merchandise available on platforms like eBay and Amazon, and more. The company’s latest product aims to make the creation of lyric videos free, and as efficient as possible – as well as unlocking additional revenue for artists and rightsholders.

According to LyricFind’s founder & CEO Darryl Ballantyne, the company’s new automated lyric video creation service is able to generate “high-quality lyric videos in about 15 seconds a video – free of charge. It’s a great tool for labels or even independent artists with a larger catalogue that want to create lyric video content. It’s accessible to anyone that wants to generate a higher volume of videos.”

The biggest point of emphasis from LyricFind’s perspective is that there’s a lot of untapped potential in getting lyric videos out for songs that previously haven’t had a presence on YouTube . This is especially true with catalogues – but even with newer content too. Ballantyne explains: “There’s a huge monetary opportunity for labels to generate a lot more revenues for them and do it in a way to essentially find more money. Until now it wasn’t cost-effective to do so: we think there’s hundreds and hundreds of millions of untapped revenue potential.

“If we look at the efficiency of it and the time – 15 seconds versus hours and hours spent creating one yourself, or by a designer – that’s not scalable. Being able to fill in all of the catalogue in 15 seconds instead of 4-8 hours – it’s a huge difference being able to get everything up and available right now and right away.”

While the company is currently building out a self-service front end (with a planned autumn launch), they’re currently focusing on utilising their backend and generating larger-scale runs, producing tens of thousands of videos at a time. eOne Music has joined as a launch partner, after Bill Wilson – eOne’s SVP Operations & Innovation – approached LyricFind with his vision of creating lyric videos at scale.

With eOne came a huge database of lyrics: examples from the initial batch of videos created by the platform include “From Adam” (feat. Lil Wayne) by The Game, the English translation lyric video of “Se Fuerte” by Bryant Myers, and parts of Snoop Dogg’s catalogue (above). The first two alone have accumulated over half a million views in about three months – demand for this type of content is clearly there.

How does LyricFind work?

LyricFind’s system automatically matches and synchronises lyrics to the audio asset delivered to LyricFind by its label partners. LyricFind’s in-house design team works with the labels or artists to create a template for the lyric videos that is visually appealing and can be applied across all of the recordings. In some cases it’s an artist-specific template, but it could be a label-specific template, or based on genre, and so on.

Ballantyne says users can give the team as much – or as little – guidance as you like: it could be a static background, multiple images, a video, and users can choose custom fonts and colours. On top of that, you can choose between options like word-by-word synchronisation or line-by-line synchronisation.

Automated translation

Lyric videos are not only one of the most popular types of videos for music monetisation, receiving tens of billions of views every year, making these accessible to audiences in different markets globally can have huge benefits in terms of an artist’s audience and YouTube channel growth. So where LyricFind becomes even more powerful is that it also offers translated lyric videos for songs where translations are available. Depending on the scale, the company can also create translations as they have this expertise in-house. Part of LyricFind’s content team is translating lyrics into a number of languages including English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Korean and Japanese.

Artists like Halsey have already adapted this strategy, uploading lyric videos in multiple languages for her song ‘You Should Be Sad’. Again, this strategy can be applied to both new releases as well as for music that came out before lyric videos became so popular – or when it wasn’t as cost effective to create a lyric video for each track of an artist.

So what kind of catalogue size would make an artist or label eligible to use LyricFind’s current service? Ballantyne says that right now they can start with, “as little as 10 tracks, but the more the better. The economics are a lot better if it’s in the thousands – especially if you look at a back catalogue where there’s no presence for certain songs as there’s no money to produce videos. The economies of scale and the structure for everything just gets more and more positive the higher the number.”

Free to create, with a revenue share 

It’s completely free to have LyricFind generate the lyric videos as they don’t charge any upfront cost. Instead, the company takes a share of the revenue generated of those views via YouTube monetisation (or from other platforms). To explain LyricFind’s value proposition, Ballantyne says that the economics of lyrics videos often don’t make sense: even if you only pay $100 for a lyric video to be made, rightsholders are often unlikely to recoup the costs.“We’re in a position that we can generate them quite quickly, efficiently and for a low cost to remove that barrier for labels and catalogue owners.”

In the future, LyricFind is planning to add more flexibility in terms of effects and features to its new service and will continue to look for more opportunities that they can offer around lyrics. Ballantyne says they will “likely create a ‘Lite’ user and ‘power-user’ functionality. And we’re always looking for ways that we’re well positioned in for rightsholders and artists to monetise their content.”

LyricFind’s closest competitors are probably Rotor and Storyblocks – with the main differences between the latter two services and LyricFind being that their videos are not generated automatically, and that the pricing structure is based on a monthly, or per-video, fee.

Contact LyricFind here if you’re interested in using their technology.

Marlen Hüllbrock

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