How to Make Your First Music Video on a Budget

How to Make Your First Music Video on a Budget

Making a music video is a great way to get the word out about your music because it provides people with a new and different way to consume it. Done well, it adds a story behind the song, and human beings are hard-wired to respond well to stories.

Music videos have been hugely influential for four decades, ever since Video Killed the Radio Star was the first video to be aired on MTV in 1981. Bands and pop stars have hit the mainstream off the back of memorable music videos, from Tenacious D with Tribute to Justin Bieber paving the way to superstardom through his YouTube videos.

Today, video is arguably more important than ever, thanks to YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, but with more and more people recording and producing music from their bedrooms, how can you make a music video on a budget?

Let’s take a look.

Things to Consider When Making a Music Video

There are different ways of making a music video, but if you’re looking to keep your spending down, a great place to start is to make a storyboard. The idea is to do all the work in advance so that you know exactly what footage you need. This can save money when it comes to original and stock footage. After all, why pay for footage that you don’t end up using?

We’ve already mentioned storytelling, and the best way to create a music video that sticks in people’s minds is to use it to tell a story. This doesn’t have to be as epic as “The Lord of the Rings” or “Game of Thrones” though. You can often get away with a variant of the traditional “boy meets girl” story.

It’s also a good idea to do some competitor research. Watch some music videos by other artists in your genre, as this is a great source of inspiration. It can also help you to identify ways that you might be able to save some money on video production.

Making a Music Video on a Budget

All music videos are made on a budget, but the amount of money spent on the production varies. As of 2010, the average budget for a studio music video was $200,000 – $500,000. At the same time, the record for the most expensive music video in history goes to Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson for Scream, which cost $7 million and clocks in at about $12.5 million when adjusted to today’s prices.

But these days, there’s no need to spend millions on a music video if you want to get people talking. Some of the most viral music videos recently have been shot on iPhones or created by the artists themselves.

So, when it comes to making a music video on a budget, it’s about finding ways to be creative while keeping costs as low as possible. Let’s take a look at three key ways to do that.

Tools to Use for Making a Music Video

1. Stock Footage

If you’re looking to make a music video without camera equipment, you will have to use stock footage instead. The good news is that some sites provide royalty-free videos that you can use without paying expensive licensing fees.

Another option is for you to search on YouTube for creative commons videos because you’ll be free to use them as long as you credit the sources. This can lead to fairly crowded credit pages, but that’s a small price to pay for having a small price to pay.

2. Editing Tools

There are plenty of video editing tools that you can use. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend and what kind of effect you want, there’s something for everyone. For example, if you need an intro for your music video with basic edits and titles but have no spare money, an online video trailer maker for free is a great way to get started. 

Of course, video editing is only part of the puzzle, especially for music videos. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the basics of audio editing and consider picking up an online equalizer.

3. Distribution and Promotion

Knowing how to make your first music video on a budget is one part. Another thing you should do is spend some time thinking about how you’re going to distribute and promote your video.

If you’re using YouTube, you could set your music video as a channel trailer or use a keyword tool to identify the best keywords to use so that people can find it via search. For TikTok and Instagram, consider creating short excerpts, and remember to share them on Facebook and other social networking sites you follow.

Done well, your music videos can sit alongside a wider content marketing strategy, helping you build a community around your music so that people can also stick around and check out your next release. 


We want to hear from you now that you are aware of how to create your first music video on a tight budget. Have you succeeded in making a DIY music video? In such case, how did you find the procedure and what were your thoughts on the outcomes? Do you think there is anything more that other authors should know?

As always, we’d love to hear your opinions, so please share them in the comments section so that we can continue the conversation. Stay tuned for another article coming soon!

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