Let’s talk about YouTube.
We could talk about VidCon, which sold out 12,000 tickets a month in advance. We could also talk about the over-dramatized and sensationalized YouTube vs. indies misinformation war. However, it’s so much more constructive to focus on growing your audience, serving your audience and monetizing your audience. Not only is YouTube is the largest streaming music service in the world, it allows you to use video to connect directly with your fans in almost any way you can imagine.
I hear you: “But I’m on YouTube and I’m not getting any views!” Here are five of the most common reasons why your YouTube videos may be getting ignored:
It’s 2 p.m., the Friday before Christmas 2012, on the 21st floor of the Leo Burnett building in downtown Chicago. Young executives, creatives, admins, and interns are all packed into a large meeting room, giddy and restless; today is special. Canadian sister folk-pop duo Tegan and Sara step onto a foot-high stage and play three songs — including the first two singles from their seventh album, Heartthrob, which they will release the following month. The fluorescent lights stay on, the city’s skyline splayed out behind them. Afterward, nearly all of the 200-odd employees in attendance will stand in line, phone at the ready, to pose for pictures with the band, just like fans after any concert.
And Tegan and Sara, who eventually cracked the Top 20 with Heartthrob’s “Closer,” need to win over this audience just as they would at any concert. A track in the right commercial could bring about the kind of attention that magazine covers and radio play alone can no longer garner. Commercial placement, or a sync, has evidenced itself as the last unimpeded pathway to our ears — what was once considered to be the lowest form of selling out, of betraying fans and compromising principles, is now regarded as a crucial cornerstone of success. And as ads have become a lifeline for bands in recent years, the stigma of doing them has all but eroded. But with desperate bands flooding the market, the money at stake has dropped precipitously. Even the life raft has a hole in it.
“A tiny sliver of bands are doing well,” says the duo’s Sara Quin. “The rest of us are just middle class, looking for a way to break through that glass ceiling. The second ‘Closer’ got Top 40 radio play, we were involved in meetings with radio and marketing people who said, ‘The next step is getting a commercial.’ I can see why some bands might find that grotesque, but it’s part of the business now.”
No matter what your band’s unique culture is, these 10 essential leadership qualities will help you navigate just about any situation you encounter with your bandmates.
Musicians are sometimes stereotyped as partiers or just downright unprofessional people, but any band with aspirations of making it big knows just how important it is to prove that wrong. As we all know, music is an incredibly challenging career that requires a ton of knowledge, years of practice, discipline, creativity and organization. The hard work behind it all can be taken for granted. One way to set the precedent for being respected and get the results you want is to maintain high standards of professionalism.
This includes scheduling rehearsals and shows in advance, being on time, being totally prepared for rehearsals, promoting your shows in advance replying to emails and phone calls in a timely fashion. Professionalism helps present the band in a positive light to the outside world while also setting an example for internal expectations.
Someone might be a brilliant songwriter and have lots of great ideas, but a good band member becomes an amazing band member if he or she is also on time, respectful, organized and prepared.
YouTube is by far the largest platform for online video viewership in the world. But frankly, it wouldn’t be anything without its creators. That’s why in a keynote at Vidcon, the company announced a wide range of new tools for the people that upload videos to the platform, all in the hopes that it will allow them to be more… creative?
For the creative community, the keynote was largely a preview into the future, as YouTube Director of Product Management for Creators Matthew Glotzbach and VP of Engineering for Creators Oliver Heckmann showcased features that would mostly be considered “coming soon.”
That decision to preview upcoming changes was intentional, as YouTube creators have consistently asked for more transparency around upcoming changes to the platform. After all, even features that are considered good for the overall community can still be disruptive to their workflow if they aren’t ready for them.
At the keynote, which featured new YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki, the key themes were helping creators making videos more awesome, reach a wider audience, and grow their businesses.
Here’s a quick rundown of the new creator tools and how they’ll help:
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Here’s a very interesting article from Matt Gielen of Frederator Studios discussing tips for creating “thumbnails that will be clicked.”
Thumbnails are the most important aspect of any video’s release, other than the content itself. Seriously. This is because thumbnails, in combination with titles, are often the biggest deciding factor in whether or not a person will click to watch a video.
Due to their overwhelming importance, we at Frederator have put together a guide for creating thumbnails that details the principles and tactics we use when crafting our own thumbnails. These are insights gained from conversations with creators, reading the YouTube Playbook, and countless experiments with various design types, all while measuring the click through rates and performance of our thumbnails through YouTube’s TrueView advertising.
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T-Mobile is bringing its “un-carrier” mantra to Internet radio: The company is teaming up with music company Rhapsody to launch unRadio, an ad-free music-streaming service that lets you play music on-demand for as long as you’d like, without running up your mobile bill.
While the music-streaming industry is inundated with competition (e.g. Spotify, Pandora and most recently, Amazon Prime Music), unRadio promises a different approach. And based on the offering, it actually seems different.
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Clear Channel is the king of the FM dial, and its digital footprint is growing to match.
"The lasers can do anything you want them to," explains Bob Pittman, the CEO of Clear Channel, during a visit to his midtown Manhattan office. The tour includes a hallway that changes stations as you walk along it, touch-activated lasers that let you play different musical notes, and a holographic Ryan Seacrest who greets you as you step off the elevator. Pittman had been CEO of AOL, Six Flags, and MTV before he took over at Clear Channel, and understatement has never been his style.
When discussing the the future of music, few people are talking about traditional broadcast radio. But iHeartRadio, the digital arm of Clear Channel’s sprawling media empire, seems to have found a way to thrive at a time when its peers in the record industry are struggling to make the transition into the mobile age. Today Clear Channel announced that it has passed 50 million registered users, a mark it reached in less than three years, much faster than rivals like Spotify or Pandora.
The iHeartRadio app lets users stream any of Clear Channels broadcast radio stations and also create “custom” stations that generate a playlist of tracks based on a certain artist, song, or mood. Yesterday it released version 5.0, which focuses even more on the ability to personalize the app to fit a user’s musical taste. The company won’t share how many of those registered users are active on the service each month, but Pittman points out it actually undercounts total usage in some ways. “That is just looking at the folks who use our custom radio feature, which requires an account. There are a lot more people who use our app to stream their favorite stations without ever signing up.” The app has more than 345 million downloads, for example, and the iHeartRadio network recorded 97 million unique visitors in its last month.
German TV, radio, and media group ProSiebenSat.1 has taken a major stake in international music streamer Deezer, according to Die Welt. Details of the deal were not revealed, but sources put the new holding at less than 50%. To date, Deezer has raised $150 million; $130 million of which came last year from WMG and Beats investor Access Industries.
As part of the deal, ProSiebenSat.1 music service AMPYA will be merged into Deezer. Together the music services will be a dominate player in Germany, the world’s 4th biggest music market.
“Deezer and ProSiebenSat.1 are moving forward together. With Deezer we are offering the most intuitive personalised music service on the market,” Gerrit Schumann, ViP of Deezer Europe said in a statement. “With the reach of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group we will be allowing an even larger audience unlimited access to our music catalogue.”
The cash infusion also comes months before Deezer enters the competitive U.S. market later this year.
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