YouTube’s TikTok-style Shorts feature launched in beta a little more than a year ago in India, before expanding globally in June. It’s already generating more than 15bn daily video views and startup SyncVault claims to be the first tool helping artists to get their music used by creators on YouTube Shorts – a fertile new promotional surface for artists.
The tool is called VidCents Music for YouTube Shorts and encourages YouTubers to use music from SyncVault’s clients within their Shorts. Creators don’t have to pay any fee to use these commercial tracks, and, as Content ID applies to Shorts in the same way as it does to regular YouTube uploads, SyncVault also promises that the videos will be claim-free. This means that creators can fully monetise their videos. What’s more, they can earn a currency called “v-points” – earning one point per view – which can be redeemed at a rate of $1-$10 per 1,000 v-points (depending on where the influencer sits on SyncVault’s platform).
How it works
Influencers need to include at least 15 seconds of a chosen track in their Short (or 30 seconds for other YouTube videos) – which needs to be an uninterrupted continuous play in the first half of any video or Short. To make sure that the music promotion is impactful, influencers also need to display the artist name and track title for at least 5 seconds when the music plays.
For non-Short videos, they will need to shout out the artist name and track while the music plays or apply a video card directing to the artist’s music video, or an artist overlay. The artist’s name and track link also needs to be placed in the top three paragraphs of their video, or Shorts description.
Finally, in order to ensure videos are kept claim-free, the artist or label needs to assign their Content ID to SyncVault or put them in touch with their Content ID Manager. Each campaign runs for a minimum of 8 weeks, during which time frame the influencer has to use the track and keep the required info within their video. Otherwise, SyncVault claims back the money.
Opening up more opportunities
It’s clear why a tool like this is much needed within music marketing. With TikTok recently reaching the 1bn Monthly Active User mark and the likes of Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts pushing hard into the market, the need to open up more opportunities for artists to work effectively with creators on short-form platforms has been growing.
We’ve been covering tools like Zebr or Preffy before, who aim to help artists create a wave on TikTok and Instagram Reels. SyncVault is a useful addition for artists focusing their activities on YouTube – an even bigger platform than the latter two. While the likes of Lickd have made it more attractive for YouTube creators to use commercial music by providing affordable licensing options, SyncVault uses an innovative combination of licensing and rewards for creators that drives music usage.
SyncVault says it already works with thousands of creators across a variety of categories such as gaming, travel, lifestyle, entertainment, sports etc. According to Kali Bradford, Director of Business Development at SyncVault, the company has an especially strong foothold in Latin American markets, Spain as well as English-speaking markets and is busy onboarding a lot of higher-tier influencers and MCNs at the moment. A goal for the company going into 2022, will be to break into Asian markets. The platform is also keen to reach out to new creators suitable to their clients needs – for example in territories they don’t have many influencers onboarded yet.
SyncVault’s clients can choose between three different campaign packages: Discovery, Amplify and Spotlight. These campaign packages differ in pricing and services included – with the higher packages offering more bespoke campaigns. The Discovery package is the entry-level tier where the artist’s song is sent out to all the influencers in SyncVault’s network.
With the Amplify campaign, you can get more targeted – for example by choosing specific YouTube genres and territories. Bradford says: “The benefit of the Discovery package is that the music will be sent out to all the influencers in our network, so you can see who picks it up and find out where to spend more marketing dollars. For example, the artist Mista Strange used Discovery for his first campaign with us – and then used Amplify in his second one to focus on the territories he’s previously found success in.”
By choosing the Spotlight campaign, SyncVault’s team works with you to develop bespoke collaborations with specific creators, and generate clear calls-to-action. In this case, the team can also go out and approach suitable influencers that are not yet part of their network. It’s more hands-on than other packages, where SyncVault will also talk to both parties to develop a fruitful collaboration e.g. the creator could give out tickets and more. With higher campaign tiers, the music will also first go out to higher tier influencers instead of the full network.
Pricing, advances, and future goals
Every package declares a “start from” price, with the client choosing the minimum views they want to achieve – which informs the final price of the campaign. The Discovery package starts from $250 ($1.25 CPM), Amplify from $1250 ($6.25 CPM) and Spotlight from $2500 ($12.50 CPM). Each campaign guarantees a minimum of 200,000 views, which SyncVault says it has surpassed with every campaign thus far.
Bradford explains: “You pay for the campaign and hopefully what you get is more views. The whole goal is that the CPM goes down significantly and you never pay more than you started paying.” The company, which charges 20% of the overall campaign budget, will make sure the budget is spent in a way that achieves the campaign goal.
SyncVault also continues to diversify their suite of tools, most recently the company started giving out advances to help artists invest in their career as well as NFT creation. With at least 15k+ Monthly Listeners and a good catalogue they could be eligible for an advance of up to 8x their annual streaming income. For this, artists first have to verify their streaming data and connect SyncVault with their distributor so the payment flows through them.
Linked to this advance service is the opportunity to promote music for free using SyncVault – for every dollar the company advances, the artist receives free VidCents that can be spent on influencer campaigns on the platform. On the NFT side, SyncVault allows fans to own a share in the artist’s master recording which is another way for artists to receive upfront cash but also enhances fan engagement through share of ownership and additional benefits e.g. early bird access to tickets, limited edition merchandise etc.
Bradford concludes: “We’re helping artist development, that’s why we’re doing distribution, advances, NFTs etc. We want to help them grow from the beginning. So we want to start looking at future releases and help educate artists that they should have a plan.”
The SyncVault team already works with big distribution companies such as The Orchard or AWAL on artist campaigns. If you’re keen to run a campaign using the tool, reach out to Kali Bradford via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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