Digital — May 31, 2013 at 3:35 pm

YouTube: Music – How to Get More Subscribers


Youtube logo

How to engage more YouTube subscribers to watch more and longer?

These insights are a summary of the YouTube workshop hosted by Digital & Music Matters, on Thursday, 23 May 2013.


The goal for every YouTube channel owner is to get viewers to return daily on her channel, but also to get them return to watch videos. The three main tips are:
Be everywhere
Making it you
Telling it your way

YouTube makes it the easiest to brand your channel for a consistent visual experience: the banner upload is done only once for all devices’ display, with an automatic resizing; the “in-video programming” and “annotation boxes” help you add clickable text/image in the videos. All is made to save your precious time and make you focus on the content, and not on the technical aspects. Content is king, this is the fourth most important tip. And making money is the fifth one. YouTube proposes a range of targeted ads and banners, following the users’ activity (side banners, in-video overlay, standard instream video, instream true view ad, etc.)

The “What to Watch” is an omnipresent guide, and the recent activity view also helps to get new subscribers, and to encourage them to watch more.

Music on YouTube: 59% of music lovers in the world access YouTube. The service’s largest content category is music and prides itself of proposing a social experience and not only a listening experience to the users. The question is: how to stand out in the flood of content, and how to increase watchtime (where watchtime is the new views)? A large portion of the traffic is driven by recommended video and channels – which are the active and consistent ones.

Optimisation: Some simple tricks make it all. Be really careful of the metadata you include: the video title has to contain words that the users will search, the tags have to be keywords and the video description should include one or several call-to-actions (buy the single on iTunes, follow on Twitter). The thumbnail picture has to be representative of the overall video, and note that close-ups are eye-catching. The foundation for success is to turn viewers into subscribers and to attract loyal subscribers.

Watchtime: Think of diversifying your content. For a music video, a behind the scene or promo teaser could have great impact, along with the primary video. Propose to the viewers some long-form content (concerts, short films, etc.) and give them to possibility of complete viewing experience, even in multiple parts as a playlist. Use call-to-action to entice, explain, guide, set expectations: this is one of the most effective audience development.

Example: the Collective Cadenza (to check the call to subscribe of the video below, you can directly go to 03:29)

Think ahead and beyond a video: YouTube is a social platform. To expand your audience, think of collaborations. This helps introducing talents to another fanbase, in a win-win exchange. Involve the users with your content in form of conversations starting with videos: the audience’s feedback will help you analyse how your content affect them. Another idea is to co-create a video with your audience, or ask the audience to submit footage that you will use in the final version, with a special thank you in the comments. Using Google Hangouts as an interactive livestream is also another handy option, where, thanks to Google+, the fans can receive calendar notifications, and get even more engaged in the conversation.


This is a global overview of how to take your YouTube channel in hand. Take the tour, and be ready to look like a flytrap!


A few useful links: