Ask people what they think of the music in corporate video and most will give you an opinion ranging from quite exciting to bland to too repetitive.
No one agrees, or knows quite what to expect.
I’ve seen situations where clients spend weeks arguing amongst themselves over what music to include in their next corporate production.
Should it be rock – or orchestral – or high tech – or inspiring – or what?!
With so much disagreement going on it’ll be useful to take a look and see exactly what the purpose of music in a corporate video actually is.
Functions of music
First off, videos need music to give them energy.
Having an energy pulse of music sitting underneath a voiceover and lots of impactful footage brings the whole visual panoply to life.
Second – the music theme should not dominate.
I’ve seen videos where a great hit song killed off the video as no one watched. They just listened and happily ignored the video message.
Third – most videos need three music tracks:
1 – an inspiring opening theme which grabs attention
2 – an energy pulse track for the main body of the video
3 – a final climax piece, or some sense of fulfillment / readiness.
Fourth – any tune used must not be disliked by any large segment of the potential audience
– so this mostly says “goodbye” to minority tastes, except in special cases. Hint: Think DnB or Trap.
So what we’re left with is:
> any tune that’s not too dominating, has energy & fulfillment, and doesn’t annoy anyone.
And there are 3 of these tracks needed for each standard 2-3 minute corporate video.
Where does corporate video music come from
Second – you can commission a piece to be custom written for your video. This works especially well when the video doesn’t have a voiceover, and you know a suitable composer.
Expect to pay £500 to £1,000 – and lots more if you want Hans Zimmer.
Third – you can buy a licence to use an existing hit tune, thereby conferring instant popularity on your video.
But this sometimes comes at a price.
Here’s a true story: A producer colleague made a verbal arrangement with the copyright holder’s agency to use M People’s Move On Up.
The price agreed was £2,000, which the client – a leading UK insurance group – were happy to pay.
Two months down the line when my colleague was ready to actually use the music, the price magically increased to £5,000 – doubtless because the agency figured the Insurance client were rich enough to pay more.
As it happens the client wouldn’t pay the extra, the agent lost out altogether, and my producer friend had to begin all over again sourcing music. I think the message here is “get it writing when dealing with an agency”.
Will you ever think of corporate music in the same light again?
A reputable music supplier
– the use of three tracks to evolve the video’s message
– and don’t alienate any of the audience by taking them out of their comfort zone
– seems to be the formula for music in most corporate video.