Choosing the Right Music for Your YouTube Channel

Image of choosing music for a YouTube channelMusic matters when creating video content. The song or audio you use as video background music will set the tone for your content and the experience you want your audience to get as they watch your video content. In movies - it's obvious how important music and sounds are to guide the film's emotional journey. This is also true for other types of video content - including YouTube videos. Adding even a quick intro audio piece can create a much more immersive experience for your viewers. With all the high quality video content out there today, having background music or intro audio in your own content is a way to stay competitive with the quality level of top channels.

What Type of Audio Do You Need?

The type of video content will determine the type of audio you need. The first question you should answer is “where do I need extra audio in my video?” For example, if you are creating an academic tutorial video, you may not need to have background music throughout the entire video. However, in these cases where longer segments of background music is not necessary, there’s always an opportunity to add a short sound or short piece of intro music at the beginning and/or end of your video to help set the tone and brand your content. Any of these options are part of your channels sonic branding, or “audio branding”.

Audio branding will make your channel or vlog memorable. It is a signature sound or music that informs your audience that they’re about to watch your video content. Sonic branding is important, in fact, every brand should have an audio signature. You have to choose the right sound or music that perfectly conveys what your overall content is about. Your type of content will determine your audio signature. For example, if you’re running a sports channel on YouTube, your sonic branding should be an energetic sound or music. 

Here are some of the options you have available to think about:

Background Music

This one should be pretty familiar. It’s the music that plays subtly behind our video content.

Intro Music / Outro Music

Intro/outro music is usually a shorter piece of music played either before any of your video audio content, or underneath a quick intro screen or intro discussion about your video.

Sound Logos / Brand Sounds

Sounds logos, audio logos, and brand sounds all refer to the even shorter signature sound that might play at the beginning or end of the video. They are usually played over a visual logo in your video.

Choosing Background Music for Each Episode 

Each video episode you upload on your YouTube page should be complemented with the right style of music. Whatever type of video content you create, whether it is How-Tos, DIYs, Makeup and Beauty, Fashion, Wellness and Fitness, Sport, Tech, or Tutorials etc, you should find a music style that matches it. Here are some suggestions to get you started on matching video content with music genre:

  • Sports: use an energetic sound – rock music, electronic music and rap music are best suited for a sports channel and episodes.
  • Tech: electronic music, pop music or even acoustic, depending on the intensity of your video genre. If your tech genre is mellow, your video background music should be mellow, while for more rigorous tech content, you can use hard rock music.
  • Fashion, beauty and makeup: pop music, acoustic or dance.
  • DIYs: pop music, acoustic or dance as well.
  • How-Tos: the type of how-tos videos you make will determine the type of background music. If it’s crafty how-tos then acoustic and pop music would be fine. On the other hand, if it’s tech how-tos, then you can use rock music or electronic music. 
  • Lifestyle, wellness and fitness: ambient music, alternative music, acoustic and pop music would complement your videos well. 

The key is to choose the right music for your YouTube channel is that the type of content you put out determines the type of background music for your episodes. These same rules apply to the other types of audio we discussed above (sound logos, intro music, and sonic branding in general). For mellowed down content, use mellowed down songs or sound, and for energetic content that gives an adrenaline rush, use energetic songs.