Music is the universal language. It’s a critical element in any multi-media endeavor that transcends borders and nationalities to create harmony, melody, and rhythm. As a producer, you want to be able to fully leverage the power of music to inspire and connect with people. However, to do that you need to understand the fundamentals of how music works, and how your potential audience perceives music. Just thinking about songs you like is not going to be enough to create viral content that draws views and impressions. There are themes working behind these songs that can be harnessed to extend the power of your project to new markets, and to individuals who originally may not have been interested in your content. So how can you pick the right songs to really help make your production a trending sensation?
Consider Your Audience
Genre targeting is a central element to the success of these music streamers. However, this powerful tool for harnessing music’s potential is not the exclusive domain of the big-name music platforms. You can also use genre targeting to pick the perfect track for your own project. However, to emulate the memorability and reliability of the major platforms you need to ask yourself a few key questions.
Who is my target audience?
What sort of music appeals to that demographic?
How do I want them to feel?
By starting with these three questions you can begin to whittle down the options. If your content is directed towards baby boomers, you don’t want to include a lot of hip-hop or rap. Similarly, if you are targeting millennials, a classic rock track might be a poor fit. Common music genres include reggae, rhythm and blues, rock, hip-hop, classical, blues, jazz, and country. Once you have identified the broad genres of music that will appeal to your target demographic it is time to start thinking purposefully about the music.
What Role Will Music Play?
The music in a project can serve several different purposes. Perhaps it is background music meant to change perceptions about the content on the screen, or add energy and suspense to a moment. If the production is intended to educate the audience about a product or process, using a subtler track is appropriate. If it is a promotional or advertising video, you probably want more dramatic music. Knowing the general tone of the music, and the job that music will be doing will help you narrow down your search through a music library.
How Genre and Purpose Intersect
Now that you have identified your target demographic, decided on a style that appeals to that group, and settled on the general tone of the music in your content, it is time to start looking through music libraries. There are a lot of options out there. To simplify, consider the three major types of production music: pop music, production music, and royalty-free music.
Pop music is the music you hear on Spotify. It enjoys greater recognizability, but is also more expensive, and the timetable to get permission to use those tracks can be over a year. Royalty-free music is music which artists have made available at no cost, but the options are limited, and the best tracks may be used by several other competing products in your market. Production music is music that has been created to meet the needs of content creators, with an expedited timeline and at significantly lower cost than pop music.
If you are using royalty-free or production music, it may help to think about a pop song or style that would appeal to your demographic and serve the overall theme for your work. Production music libraries like Level 77 Music are vast, often with tens of thousands of tracks, so knowing how to narrow your search down quickly will help immensely. Sometimes these companies will have custom music arms. For example, Level 77 Music is known for making custom music pieces for companies looking to brand their company with a specific track that only they have access to. By knowing your audience’s needs and the emotion you’re wanting to evoke, the perfect track can help take your content to the next level!