Why Are Music Videos Being Placed As YouTube Ads?

You were trying to view a video from your favorite content creator on YouTube then you get an ad. No, it’s not those Netflix ads nor is it about a product being promoted. What you get is a music video as an ad on YouTube. Just think about it, putting your music video as an ad on YouTube. What’s really going on?

Weird is the only word to describe this move by artists; especially African artists. So, we’re going to look at the reasons why they are doing this, see if there are any benefits to it and why it will never work anyway. Let’s begin.

A new form of exposure

If there is something artists always wants, it is to get as maximum exposure as possible. These guys are the loyal followers of the Pareto Rule; less time spent on creating music and more time spent on promoting it. Just look at what Billie Eilish is doing to promote her new album. She is everywhere right now. Just log on to YouTube and search her name, you will see she has been featured in so many YouTube channels. That kind of exposure is what is making people be aware of her new album which leads to more streams/sales which ultimately means more money for the label.

Seeing music videos being put up as ads on YouTube is on one hand not surprising, for the reason explained above and also surprising. Why? It’s unconventional but at the same time, it ticks all the right boxes of creating exposure. Come to think of it, it is a cheap and easy means of exposure compared to doing interviews, paying DJs to play your music or making appearances. But, it’s not that cheap because of one thing…

A Music Video Has To Exist

Producing a music video doesn’t come cheap. Especially in today’s music industry where artists are going all out with their visuals. It’s all about looking the part. They say people have to take you seriously from how you portray yourself in a music video; something about being a brand. Safe to say, you don’t expect a poorly shot and poorly edited video to be put as an ad right?

If I’m honest, I don’t care much about the visuals because I’m more focused on the quality of the song being offered. Videos just increase the exposure and compliment the song. Plus we all know that most of these things artists floss in their videos are most likely rented so the public won’t be that impressed if you shoot your video in a Bugatti Chiron.

So far, the investment for the exposure seems to be going well. It only gets better because…

YouTube has a large audience

We are living in an age where social media platforms are more important than mainstream media. It is evident mainstream media channels are trying to relocate to YouTube. Artists have done their research and have found out their best bet is on the video streaming platform.

Again, they could opt the Billie Eilish way with the guest appearances on channels but given that most channels around East Africa (or Africa in general) aren’t that big for artists to capitalize, they are stuck with using ads. Unfortunately, there is one big problem that needs to be addressed. It’s a big one.

Most People Won’t View It

I know I wouldn’t. It all boils down to why you click on a video; do you want to see the ad that comes with it or see the actual video. The latter is the obvious question. Sure there are some ads which are unskippable which run within 5 seconds but this is a song. A typical song runs for three minutes. Why would anyone want to view a three minute ad? What if the video you are running is shorter than the ad itself?

It’s a tricky strategy that may expose the artist to new viewers or do nothing at all for him/her. I wouldn’t advice people to use it because I skip those videos as soon as I see one. Some even have ad blockers which makes them not see any ad at all. Hey, you may not even see the ads on this site right now and that’s fine.

So, is it worth it? 

Unless someone really wants to view ads, it’s a bad investment which will yield low results for the artist. For any regular person, ads are annoying and a waste of time. They are better off doing the tried-and-tested methods rather than trying something uncertain. What do you think?

Elvis Mwangi

Student of life, Blogger, Audiophile. Lol.