YouTube Insights and Music Marketing

I was just experimenting with the Insights functionality of YouTube. I’m sure it’s been there for a while, but I honestly just found it! It can show you how many views each one of your videos has had over a definable period of time throughout the video’s livespan. It also offers demographic information (if you’ve had enough views to constitute a large enough sample for their algorithms). There are other bits of information too, such as how your video is connected via social media, and even how much attention your audience gave at every point of a video (as compared to other videos of similar length). Pretty amazing stuff.

Now it’s story time. A little over two years ago, I was hosting an all-nighter study session for a statistics class. Two of my classmates were joining, and at the end of the night we relaxed with a game of Mario Galaxy; at the time, it was fairly new. At one point during the game, it paused during a dialogue and it was just too funny to ignore. I shot a quick 20 second video and uploaded it to YouTube. As of this instant, the video has had 31,127 views. It’s pretty ridiculous and juvenile – I think that’s why it has become viral. I won’t ask you to watch the video if you’re offended by four letter words… so if you are, don’t click this link.

Ok – now that we’re done with that, what kind of person do you think is watching my terrible Mario video and sending their friends to it? By exploring YouTube Insights, I found that in the U.S. there have been 13,669 total views, and that my largest demographic was 13-17 year olds at 26%. My next largest demographic was 45-54 year olds at 18%. What?? That’s just too funny! I would have never guessed when I filmed that video that it would be so popular among people of that age group. Incredible, and insightful. Check out this screenshot to see what I’m talking about.

YouTube Insights
45-54 year olds come in second place!

This is an important lesson for people involved with promoting music on YouTube. Investigate your viewership; you may end up as surprised as I did.

Marketing information such as what YouTube Insights and Google Analytics offer were once extremely expensive to get, and often involved hiring an outside company to do the market research. Now, with not even one more finger lifted and no extra time spent, we can leverage that work for free. If a band is trying to figure out how to best direct their marketing efforts, knowing viewership demographics can keep them from wasting time and money on strategies that will have minimal impact.

Please share this, and if I have left out anything important, say so!


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