Discussion: Background music in video and podcasts Editorial Material

For many years I have observed different approaches to the design of video and audio content, and I knew well that there is no consensus - someone adds a musical arrangement, someone does not. Even in the ancient times of the popularity of radio, some conversational programs (for example, on Maximum radio) had something buzzing in the background, while others (for example, on Mayak) contained only speech in ringing silence. This and that could be liked and disliked for various reasons, but approaches to the production of content have been preserved to this day in the age of online streaming and the transformation of radio into podcasts.
Take, for example, the masters of digital content production of all varieties and colors from The Verge. In their main conversation podcast about technology, there is no music, but it is in the videos, which also talk about technology (by the way, the first time I saw them live, the main gadget observer Vlad Savov in this video).
And here, for example, Marcus Brownlee from the MKBHD video project. A musical beat at the beginning and at the end - but during the story there is no background arrangement. This type of music you can find at the https://taketones.com
In order to avoid misunderstanding, I’m talking specifically about conversationally focused videos - those that are considered to be the format of video bloggers or “talking heads”, in extreme cases, talk shows. It is clear that when there is no talk in the video, then in the absence of other significant audio (for example, game sounds during streams or nature when shooting), silence must be filled with something.
When we at TJ started making our own video clips with reviews, the guys from the DTF video studio who were involved in editing began to put light music under speech. I was not opposed, because I also do not have any prejudice towards one of the two approaches, but they still know their job better than me.
But the thoughts on how to do better still do not leave me. When I listen to conversational podcasts, I can’t understand whether the background music distracts me or vice versa allows me to relax and let the voices of the hosts sound in my head. For example, “ Disgusting Men ” and “ Breakfast ” impose music - they are quite easy to listen to, but sometimes I find myself thinking that I was distracted by something and lost the thread of discussion. The Verge and Medusa, by contrast, do not overlay music in conversational podcasts (examples are The Vergecast , Medusa in the know ), and I sometimes notice that I can’t think about anything other than what I’m saying myself presenters: their words are imprinted on my head, like letters on a sheet in a typewriter.
But with videos, the situation is a little different. A video requires that you not only listen to it, but watch it - at this time it is difficult to do something else, as happens with podcasts. That is, when I watch a video, I still do just that, and not just occupy my ears with some kind of content, as my mother, including turning on the TV, does, say. Therefore, there is a feeling that without superimposed audio in the videos, more attention is paid to the picture and what the person in the frame actually says. But there is another nuance: without music, silence creates some tension, constraint.
What are your preferences as a viewer / listener and do you have any? If you are working on the production of video or audio content, share your professional thoughts in the comments.
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