Imagine that you’re making a video about how to declutter a closet. In the video you show the closet beforehand, you explain what you’re going to do and how you’ll do it, and then you have a montage of video clips of you working while music plays. Finally, you come back on screen and give a few parting thoughts. Not bad, right?
Except here’s the problem I see happening over and over again…
That video montage is there to show a long process condensed into a short amount of time. You could narrate over that section, but most video makers prefer to use music.
But… because it’s just music, the video makers are worried that it somehow won’t be enough and so they crank up the volume up to twice what it was. Now the viewer is reflexively jumping to turn that volume down – sometimes WAY down. In my case, I’ll usually just mute it.
And when the person comes back on video to talk to the camera and uses a regular speaking voice at regular volume, the viewer can’t hear it unless they turn the volume back up. This means that if the viewer is even still paying attention, they will need to decide if they should turn up the volume or just close the video and go on to something else. Why would anyone put their viewer in that position?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been distracted when the volume was on mute. I never did see the end of those videos, so if they had a call to action… well, I never heard it. And it’s annoying having to reach for the volume button because music is suddenly blasting forth. It’s like if someone came up from behind you with a bullhorn and you’ve got to find the volume button to make them stop.
I know it might seem ‘artistic’ to blast music like it’s a movie scene, but do you really want to alienate your viewers? Probably not.