Every week there are new promotion channel popping up, the vast majority of which are ran by one person in their bedroom. Even though most of these promoters give up not long after they start, the YouTube community is thriving with channels willing to offer free promotion for up & coming musicians, who would otherwise struggle to get their music heard. As well as a platform for established musicians and record labels to promote their music to a wider audience.
YouTube promoters come in many different shapes and sizes. Some people do it simply as a hobby while for others it’s a full time job. The main problem with most channels is they want 10,000 subscribers and millions of views after only a few months, which just won’t happen, for most people the first 6 months to a year can be slow, tedious and sometimes frustrating. Sitting in your bedroom, spending hours trying to find that perfect wallpaper to go with that perfect track, not to mention the amount of time rendering & uploading videos adds up to each week. All for no more than 100 views on each upload! It’s no surprise that so many simply give up after a few months.
Below I have put together a short list of 10 tips I think will benefit someone just starting out as a YouTube promoter, as well as someone maybe into their first few months and are starting to build a community. As well as some tips from established promoters and a list of channels which are worth checking out.
1. Connect Your Social Media
It’s very important to make sure you’ve set up your Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, Email and any other social sites you want to use, as well as connect them all to post content automatically before you even upload your first video.
2. Consider your goals and genre niche
There are many channels on YouTube named things like “DubztepTunez” or “NewEdmTunez”. Titles like these just make most people cringe, think about what type of audience you want to attract, which genre/s you are going to promote and what you want your artwork to look like before choosing a title for your channel. I’m sure there are many promoters who have grown over the years who regret choosing their current channel name!
3. Spend time contacting artists
This is perhaps the most important bit of advice I could give to a new promoter and perhaps the most time consuming. When I first started I wrote a message in Microsoft Word which was suitable to send to a producer/artist. I would make sure it was direct and to the point but at the same time didn’t make it feel like spam, I would customize the message slightly each time I sent it. during my first 2 months promoting I probably mailed around 100-150 producers, a lot of which didn’t reply, either because they had to many mails similar to mine, or that they simply weren’t interested in my channel, which I understand as I only had about 100-200 subscribers at this point. I had an A4 sheet which I would write down all the artists that had given me permission to upload their music, this gave me enough good quality music to upload until my channel grew. It also helped me stay away from copyright violations, which is a problem among new promoters!
4. Make sure you have full permission
As said in #3, copyright is a problem with new promoters, most make a channel and upload all their favorite tracks, get a few copyright strikes then quit, don’t be one of those promoters! Another common problem I see is with Bootleg Edits, promoters think that if they have permission from the artist who made the edit, they have permission to upload the track. This is NOT the case, you need to have full permission from all original artists, featuring artists, remix artists and the artist who made the Bootleg Edit if applicable. With some tracks you may also need to consult the label with whom the tracks were released. If you do this you will ensure your channel stays clear from YouTubes crosshair and you won’t have any problems with copyright claims or disputes.
It’s a lot easier to keep interest in a YouTube channel if you feel someone is on the other end of your videos, engage with other promoters & listeners, reply to comments on your videos, add & message promoters with a similar subscriber count to you and build a relationship with the artists you’re promoting, your channel will benefit a lot if an artist gives you an exclusive upload of his latest track a few days before anyone else.
6. Don’t worship numbers
For someone starting out on any social platform whether it be Facebook, Soundcloud, YouTube or Tumblr. Your analytics will live to haunt you! I know just as well as anyone how addictive it can be to constantly check subscriber and view counters. When I first started I would check once every few hours even though I knew my views would only have went up by about 20 views. It’s a problem everyone faces and even though you know you’ve checked your YouTube channel page five times today, you still go back a sixth time!
7. Pay attention to quality
If you want to be known as a high quality promoter, you need to upload high quality music. Ripping from Soundcloud has a quality limit of 128kbps and Youtube 192kbps, don’t set the bar low, upload full quality 320kbps mp3s only, even if YouTube only playsback in 192kbps, uploading a 320kbps mp3 will let you know you’re getting the best quality possible! Check your preferences in your video editor as well, some software (such as Adobe After Effects) has an automatic 128kbps setting within some of the rendering presets. Although this can be easily changed small things like this are often overlooked!
8. Don’t rush your partnership
Be careful when approached by partnering networks offering you a YouTube partnership, there are many different positives & negatives to every network, one might offer you 10% more revenue than another, but might not have it’s own forum where you can interact and meet other partners. One might be a sub network of one of the main networks, but not specific to what you’re doing on YouTube. My advice is join a network with partners that own channels similar to yours! Some networks are great for vloggers, some for gamers and some for YouTube promoters! Do your research and you’ll make the right choice!
9. No need for 1080p!
When rendering a still image & audio, there isn’t really any need to render in 1080p, YouTubes audio quality for both 720p & 1080p is 192 kbps, so if there’s no video or animation, 720p will keep your files smaller and rendering times faster!
10. Default description
This is one of the features I love most about YouTube, the option to set a default description, this saves a huge amount of time when uploading! You can add a description header, template for artist links, channel links, a disclaimer and any other information you see fit! Once you enter it here you never need to enter it again!
I really hope these help, though experiment with video rendering, uploading, sharing, social media, networking etc.. What works for one person may not be the best option for someone else!
Here’s advice from promoters within the YouTube community:
“Promote the music you would listen to yourself, not the stuff the masses want to hear… That way your fans are loyal and they get a piece of your personality with each upload. Anybody can make “DANKDUBZHD” and get 20k subscribers… But who wants a fanbase of morons? Be yourself.”
“Be original in everything what you do! Don’t be satisfied with the standards go far beyond them!”
“Keep chasing your own notions, never copy someone else.”
“Don’t do it for personal gain, you’ll give up after a month or 2. Promotion channels don’t grow overnight and if music is not your passion, it’s not for you. The artists should always be the most important”
“Consistency is key. Your social media URLs, visual branding and general formatting should be uniform.”
Trap and Bass
“Have an open submission email or drop box, and make sure you answer every submission and question which comes your way to the best of your ability, you might be giving advice to the next big artist.
Even if we decline a submission, we reply and a lot of artists comment on how we’re one of the very few channels who reply.”
List of respectable promoters:
The Sound You Need
The Fij Network
Spread The Jams
Trap and Bass
One Chilled Panda