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Short-form video for music artists

In this blog, we take a look at short-form video content and the benefits it could have for music artists.

What is short form video content?

  • Short-form video is short, snappy and fun content that is highly engaging and usually only up to 30 seconds in length or less (maximum 60 seconds)

  • Think humour, memes, dancing: real life content that isn’t overly polished and generally created in-app

  • Challenges are a popular form of short-form content that engage your audience by asking them to participate in a challenge through their own accounts, for example a dance or singing challenge

  • Using the stop and start recording option is also popular, which allows you to switch from one shot to another. This feature is key to the transitions trend.

  • Storyboard approach makes it a good option for brand storytelling

Thinking about reach: TikTok vs Instagram Reels

  • TikTok is algorithmically discovery focussed, meaning it’s designed to automatically push your videos out for discovery based on your geo location and engagement. Getting your content onto TikTok’s ‘For you’ and ‘discovery’ feeds are the key to exposure on TikTok.

  • Instagram reels is instagrams option for short-form content. The algorithm only shows the videos to your followers unless you use hashtags. Middle tier hashtags are the best option when using reels for discovery, as high performing hashtags are overly saturated. Instagram does have the added benefit of being able to share your reels to your feed and stories for additional reach.

Top tips when creating short form content

  • Engage with similar content to yours and be active

  • Always remove app branding when cross-posting to other platforms. Best practice is to download the video, remove watermark/logos and re-upload the video or your reach may be affected.

  • Check explore tabs regularly on all platforms to monitor trends

  • Storyboard your content

  • Think meme and humour

  • Think about the benefit to the audience to keep them engaged

  • Involve your audience: Start challenges or ask your audience to recreate / remix your content

  • Wear your merchandise

Benefits on each platform

Instagram Reels

  • Offer more discoverability than organic instagram posts

  • Option to choose which part of a licensed song they would like to use which allows for more creativity and individuality

  • High performing reels can become featured content that instagram automatically promotes to more accounts

  • Option to share reels to your story and feed for additional promotion

  • Option to link your instagram shop to your reel

  • Option to use licensed music content

Tik Tok

  • TikToks ‘For you’ and 'Discovery' feed are algorithmically designed for discovery and are the key to going viral

  • Features a trending page to search trending hashtags and challenges

  • Duet feature is a great tool for collaboration with other artists or fans

  • Challenges create fan interaction: think about creating dance or lyric challenges over your music

  • Established artists can list their tracks off their artist page

  • Music stickers can be created for fans to share on videos

  • Challenges can bring catalogue tracks back into the charts with enough popularity

  • Option to use licensed music content.


  • Snapchat AR lens studio allows you to design branded lenses for a track or release

  • Snapchat ‘spotlight’ feed is algorithmically designed for discovery

  • Option to choose which part of the licensed song to use which allows for more creativity and individuality

  • Option to use licensed music content, that provides option listen on leading DSPs

Apps to watch out for

  • Triller: Dubbed as the adult TikTok for music, this app is hugely popular in the US and offers more features for working with music, including its own built-in remixer, longer video times and Triller billboard charts for most popular content.

  • YouTube Shorts: A new short-form video option that has been launched in India for testing.

  • Voisey: Connects song writers, producers and singers through collaborative songwriting.


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