Getting Social Series: 7 Tips For Running a YouTube Channel

[Editors Note: This is a guest blog post from TuneCore Artist Hannah Trigwell. The 24-year old singer/songwriter went from busking around her hometown in England to touring throughout Europe. Her YouTube Channel boasts over 350,000 subscribers and has garnered more than 35 million views!]

Want to have your own channel on the most popular video sharing site on the web? Whether you are using YouTube to reach new audiences or simply to promote music to your current audience, here are some tips that are guaranteed to get you off to a good start!

1. Aim for: High Quality, Regular Quantity.

Regular uploads will produce a regular crowd of viewers, but only if the content quality is consistently high. You don’t necessarily need to have the best camera, lights, and microphone, (though it helps!), but really, the most important thing about a video is the quality of the content. For example, a video of impressive vocals or incredible drumming skills filmed via webcam is going to be much more entertaining, (and inspire more sharing), than a video of a poorly rehearsed performance captured in an expensive studio through an expensive lens. Once the quality of the content is high, regular uploads can lead to a dedicated and exponentially-growing fan base.

2. Compliment videos with more videos.

Uploading a great video is the beginning, not the end! Add more videos to create a story. As a fan, I love to watch behind-the-scenes footage of my favorite bands on the set of their latest music video shoot or backstage before a show. I get to know the people that write the music that I love, and I find out when their next performances are and when the new merch is released. I absorb all of this information through watching videos that surround their latest music video release.

3. Give your video the best chance.

Accurate representation of video content through customized thumbnails is essential. After going through my videos and creating customized thumbnails that captured the main message of each video, I saw my views (per video) increase significantly. Furthermore, having optimized titles, tags and descriptions for each of your videos will give them the best chance to be seen by the people who are looking for them, as well as those who aren’t! This is where the magic of audience growth comes in.

4. Collaborate as much as possible!

As well as meeting new people and learning music and video production techniques from others, collaborations are brilliant because they can expose you and your music to new audiences. Cross-promotion of content through other creators’ channels can potentially expand your fan base – especially if you are collaborating with someone who uploads videos that have similarities to your own.

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5. Analytics are for geeks.

So embrace your inner geek! If you don’t, you are seriously wasting an opportunity to get real insight into what is working for you and what isn’t. Use the data generated by your YouTube channel, (which is presented in a very practical way via the ‘Creator Studio’), to learn what your audience likes and when they like it. Here, you can discover your video playback locations, demographics, audience retention, traffic sources and much more. This information can be very useful in booking tours if you are an independent act, (promoters will be more inclined to work with you if they can see the right numbers), and discovering the optimum timezones for publishing your videos.

6. Don’t just upload, interact.

Think of your video as the conversation starter. Don’t just upload a new video and expect audience engagement to be high – if you don’t interact you can’t expect your viewers to. Aim to answer questions that are asked via the comments section below your video, and ask for feedback in the form of comments.

Recently, I uploaded a demo of a new song I had written to see what my fan base thought – this was a conversation starter. I learned what they liked about the song, what they didn’t like and what they thought I could improve on. This was really valuable for me, I’m currently working on the finished version of this song with all of these comments in mind! Linking back my first point, I had made sure that the quality of the video I uploaded was high, which meant that it was entertaining and it encouraged sharing. The end result: I was able to promote new music to my current audience whilst growing my fan base via their video sharing – all the while getting the positive feedback and constructive criticism that I needed to encourage me to work up an official studio version of the song.

7. Enjoy!

If you don’t have much to say or you’re not really feeling the song you have been working on, don’t upload a video. Don’t just post out content for content’s sake. People will see through videos that aren’t genuine and lose interest. It has to be real, and it has to be something that you are passionate about – whether that’s an interesting arrangement of a well-known song, an exciting new song, or a new tour announcement! I think it’s most important to do what you want to do, but don’t be afraid to experiment and find out works works for you and your fan base. And don’t expect to grow a worldwide fan base via YouTube overnight, perseverance is the key.


Follow Hannah Trigwell on YouTube and Twitter.

New Music Friday: August 28, 2015

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?

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Mud Digger Volume 6
Mud Digger

Country

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Small Problems EP
The Bulls
Alternative, Rock

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Origins
Bridge To Grace

Rock, Heavy Metal

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Find a Way (feat. Rudy)
Dirty South

Dance, Electronic

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Sexy Goodbye (ft. Ice Cold Jay)
Lauren Winans

Hip Hop/Rap, Pop

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Blue Gold
Pony Boy

Alternative

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Crossing County Lines: Deluxe
Drew Baldridge
Country

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Passenger / Human 
TRAPT

Rock, Alternative

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The Making of a Man
Griffin Anthony

Singer/Songwriter, Pop

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Chaser
Keith Walker

Country

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Soul Rebel
John Givez

Hip Hop/Rap, Alternative

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I Can Be Somebody
Erin McCarley

Pop, Alternative

August News From Our Store Partners

By Dwight Brown

As summer ends and days at the shore dwindle, several digital music partners are making waves you won’t see at the beach.  

Digital music stores are doing their best to live up to expectations, embrace radio play, take advantage of music fans’ incessant love of streaming and stake out their niche territory in an ever expanding music market. See how…

1. itunes-logo-png-transparent-8Based on numbers from MusicWatch, (a company dedicated to marketing research and industry analysis for the music and entertainment industry), Billboard Magazine thinks it’s possible that Apple Music could become a top-three subscription service (behind Spotify and Deezer) and could quickly reach number two. They came to that conclusion after a difference of opinion between MusicWatch and Apple Music spilled over into the pages of their magazine.

A MusicWatch 5,000-person survey produced findings that don’t jive with Apple Music’s assertions, especially regarding the number of Apple Music users. MusicWatch: 8.6 million.  Apple Music: 11 million. Turns out the MusicWatch’s figures were only for the U.S. and Apple Music’s figures are global, hence the disparate figures. The article delves into the habits of Apple Music users who are not giving up on Spotify as they toy with the new Apple streaming service. Considering Billboard’s prediction, artists who make sure their tunes are in Apple Music are preparing themselves for the future.

 rdioA MusicBusinessWorldWide article has made the observation that Apple Music isn’t the only streaming music service to boast a traditional radio element. Rdio has introduced nearly 500 broadcast radio stations into its US offering, driven by US-based network Cumulus. Popular stations that will now be featured on Rdio include Indianapolis’s 93.9 The Beat, LA’s 95.5 KLOS, Nashville’s 95.5 NASH Icon, New York’s NASH FM 94.7, San Francisco’s KFOG and more. Additional radio stations will launch later this year in the US and in a number of other international markets. Though solid user numbers are yet to be confirmed, it’s believed that Rdio offers streaming across more than 35 million songs in 85 countries.

Bollywood movies aren’t the only8. Saavn-Logo-Horizontal-Green-1000 universally liked form of entertainment in India. Streaming is getting a lot of love too. According to the Times of India, based on a study conducted by market research firm JuxtSmartMandate, listening to music online is the third most preferred activity of urban internet users in the country. (If you’re curious how emails and social media stack up, read the article.) As many as 97.4 million people in urban India listen to music online which is close to 63% of the 168 million total urban internet users in the country and around 75% of this traffic comes from mobile phones. With a total app download of 25.6 million, and an active user base of 14.1 million users, the digital distributor saavn is a co-market leader.

2. amazon-music-logoMusic streaming in the UK has almost doubled over the last 12 months; hence Amazon has entered into the UK streaming market with Prime Music, a service available to Amazon Prime customers as part of their annual £79 subscription. The service provides access to one million+ songs and about 500 specially created playlists. So what’s the big deal, if Apple or Spotify offer more than 30 million tracks? Let’s call it a unique holistic approach. Paul Firth, head of music for Amazon UK, told the BBC News, “Being the one place where you can buy CDs and vinyl, you can buy downloads or you can stream – I think that’s the best place to be right now.” For artists, that means their music can be sold in any format with Amazon Music. Soup to nuts music sales? Great for music fans. Even better for artists.   

Summer beach days are concluding.  But digital music sales opportunities never die.

If you’re a TuneCore Artist, our store partners want your music. Add your new music today! Or for more convenience add Store Automator and every time we add a new store we will add it to the releases you selected.

If you are not distributing your music through TuneCore yet, this summer is the perfect time to start.

Event Recap: TuneCore Live Brooklyn at The Living Room, 8/19

Eight months after we kicked off our exciting monthly show series at the hospitable, warm and inviting Bardot in Hollywood, we’re thrilled to have officially made TuneCore Live a bi-coastal affair! Last Wednesday at the Living Room in Brooklyn – the wonderful setting of our headquarters – the TuneCore team welcomed 18th & Addison, BRAEVES, PigPen Theatre Co. and DJ Matt FX as they helped us present an amazing night of music, networking, and of course, a healthy dose of partying.

Thanks to our friends at Swisher Sweets, CeleBuzz and Mirrored Media, guests were treated to a fantastic evening in the beautiful, multi-level venue whose roof deck offered a picturesque view of New York City – the perfect backdrop for mingling before and in between sets. We’re thankful, too, for all of those who were able to join us, especially the NYC-based TuneCore Artists who came out to kick it with their favorite digital distribution team.

Hailing from just a couple of rivers over, 18th & Addison hit the stage first, and boy did they bring the energy! The four-piece’s vocal harmonies, fast drums and catchy guitar riffs brought each and every member of the crowd back to the glorious mid-90’s/early-00’s era of fun, emotional pop-punk.

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Up next, Long Island’s own BRAEVES switched the vibe up a bit with their dreamy, reverb-fueled indie rock jams. Bringing a crowd of supportive fans, these guys proved not only with their tight musical and rhythmic timing, but also their banter between songs, that they’ve been playing together awhile and surely have a bright future ahead of them.

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The final set of the night came as the 7-piece PigPen Theatre Co. approached the stage. These guys had it all: guitars, percussion, keys, a banjo, and an accordion – all rotating song-by-song like a well-oiled Americana/indie-folk machine! Their harmonies were on point as the crowd was collectively blown back by the band’s versatility. But perhaps the most enjoyable part of their set came later on, when all members of the Theatre Co. ditched the stage for the center of the room, creating a jam circle completely surrounded by the audience. They truly brought the energy of a woodsy, whiskey-induced campfire gathering to a crowded, urban Williamsburg concert venue.

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If you’re a TuneCore Artist (or just an indie music fan) in the New York City-area who couldn’t join us, fear not! We’ll be back in action for round two of many to come this September. All you have to do is head over to the TuneCore Live Facebook page to stay up to speed with upcoming events and RSVP opportunities. To get a real sense of what went down, make sure to check out our photo gallery below!

Wednesday Video Diversion: August 26, 2015

Happy Wednesday! On this day back in ’95, our boy Seal shot to #1 in the States with his song “Kiss From a Rose”, which if you recall, had a pretty amazing videoBatman Forever, ANYONE?! We still think this round-up of TuneCore Artist videos gives it a run for its money, though, and we’re happy to provide you with a much-needed mid-week distraction:


Daniel Johns, “Going On 16”


The Bulls, “Come Unwound”


EDEN, “End Credits”


Cleopold, “Down In Flames”


Frenchy, “Friendzone (ft. Zach Gervaise)”


MIYNT, “Civil War”


Wayfarers, “Just Our Style”


Stephanie Rainey, “Please Don’t Go”


Brian Nhira, “Back Where You Belong”


Trevor James Tillery, “Out of Time”

6 Tips For Selling Your CDs at Gigs

By Dwight Brown

Selling CDs at gigs can be a cash cow.

You’ve got a wide profit margin because the cost of CD Duplication is minimal compared to the price fans will pay for them. And, selling CDs gets your music out there to fans who will recommend your music.

Tempt audiences at your performances, keep these 6 tips in mind, and you’ll sell CDs and make money:  

  1. Pricing. Charge $10 for an album and $5 for a single and most fans won’t think twice about buying one or more CDs. Selling two CDs for a bargain price is irresistible. Keep prices at $5 increments, and you won’t have to mess with small change. 
  2. Giveaways. Consider rolling the price of a CD into the admission charge. It’s like you’re giving them away, but you’re not. Or hand out a few as door prizes—and watch the rest of the audience have CD envy. 
  3. Special CDs.  Selling CDs that are live recordings, impromptu sessions or feature songs that are not on an official release makes fans feel like they’re buying something special. These “quasi-bootleg” CDs become collectors’ items. 
  4. Concession stands. Mark the title, price clearly and keep CDs at eye level. If you’re selling more than one CD, put them in groups. Concession stand helpers who are personable and/or attractive entice fans to buy more. 
  5. Easy payments:  Take cash, checks and credit cards, which are easy to process thanks to smart phone/tablet mobile apps and dongles (hardware that offers a secure connection). 
  6. Strong shows = strong sales. Connect with you your fans on stage, win them over with a memorable performance and they’ll want a CD to take home that recreates that cool experience. It’s that easy.

Selling CDs at gigs can help you finance your next recording session or tour. If CDs aren’t your thing, USB flash drives work too. You can get started with TuneCore’s CD Duplication service.