Get your Music in the Top 40 Charts using Youtube
As of July 6th, streaming and downloading of videos and official audio clips on platforms like YouTube, will now count towards the official singles charts but how can you use this to your advantage? Can this new era get your music in the charts?
What has changed?
With Apple Music, YouTube and Spotify recently rolling out new video platforms, it was clear that the industry was starting to change with the times, so the collection of data for the charts needed to adapt with it. Since YouTube launched, the streaming site has seen 20 music videos break the two billion views mark, so it seems crazy that this had no impact on the artist’s chart position. The Official Charts have taken into consideration the factors that impact the popularity of a track over the past few years, with streaming data only impacting the single charts since 2014.
The services which will contribute video streams to the chart will include Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music and Tidal. Basically, under this new rule, most official music videos on YouTube will count towards the charts, oblivious of who uploads them. Any unofficial videos and user-generated content featuring music will not count – but official videos played on YouTube, Apple, Tidal and Spotify in the UK will.
How can you use this to your advantage?
Up until July 6th, the Official UK Chart was calculated by both sales and streams, with a streaming ratio of 150:1. Other sales included paid digital downloads and physical releases. Now with video streaming having an impact towards the charts, emerging artists have a bigger chance than ever to start appearing in the Top 100 and here’s how.
Music video views aren’t as biased. Unlike the national radio stations which are bombarded with signed artists, YouTube videos are controlled entirely by the public, so what you do with that video, can be the stepping stone to getting into the charts. The first step is getting more views but how?
Getting more views on your YouTube video can seem impossible when you’re watching the views increase by 10 a day but it’s possible in this digital age. Firstly, you need to sort the simple stuff such as having a description, entering the relevant tags and titling your video correctly. Once you’ve done this, you need to get it in front of the right eyes. Of course you can run your own DIY music PR campaign, using Submithub and approaching online blogs but this won’t always translate into YouTube views straight away or have a huge impact but will just increase your online presence. Focus more on the areas that will have a direct impact such as Reddit, using the subreddits likes /r/Music, /r/listentothis and /r/ifyoulikeblank.
Another method for getting shares and views, is using micro-influencers. Micro-influencers can be anyone who has any amount of social media following. Lots of artists will only focus on the major influencers with 50k+ followers but it’s much more effective and easier to confirm 50 micro-influencers with a 1k following that just the one major influencer. The best way to do this is approach people that have shared a similar artist to yourself. For example, if you’re an indie rock band, look for people that have shared Catfish and The Bottlemen’s video and send them a friendly DM. If you’re working with a budget, you can use a tool like Buzzumo, which allows you to see who has shared a link, so you could look for everyone that had shared one video and approach them. Don’t spam so that you get your account banned or you’re starting to irritate people but if you’re introducing them to music that they like, then it’s a win win.
As well as getting others to share your video, you must share it yourselves. We know every band does this, but not every band uses Facebook advertising strategically, so the ad will actually translate into views. As Facebook have changed their algorithm, you need to have strong content already in place, which lets Facebook know you have the potential to have high engagement so it pushes your music video to a higher percentage of people who have liked your page. Use Facebook ads to boost your video to your audience and sponsored posts to share it with your soon to be audience.
Now you’re starting to get your video out there on YouTube, you need to look into other video platforms that could help you chart. The Official UK Charts announced that as well as YouTube, they will take into consideration Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal video views so don’t just focus all your attention on YouTube. All three platforms have people whose job is designated to finding artists for specific video playlists and features. Similarly to Spotify playlist curators, these people screen through videos daily to find the ones that are fitting. Pitching to these people could gain you a place in the charts so it’s essential you get on LinkedIn and other socials to track them down.
It can be difficult to find the right people to approach, especially as many of them will be new to their jobs with these platforms just being announced, but if all else fails, you can use a service called RocketReach, which can scrape the internet for their email address or guess their email address with a high degree of accuracy. You need to stand out amongst the rest when pitching to them, giving them something that’ll make them want to read on and actually view the video. This could be anything from any major names you’ve supported to which publications you’ve been covered in.
Speaking of publications, it’s important you still focus on your online presence and traditional press and these curators often use large blogs, radio stations and TV channel to help them to find new music. There’s no point approaching them with absolutely no online presence, zero Spotify streams and no social media following as then you’re just every other band. Make yourself stand out with what you’ve accomplished so far, whether that be online coverage, number of streams or support slots.
It’s clear that all parts of the music industry are changing drastically day by day, with all parts of the industry noticing the impact it’s having. Only in 2017 did streaming overtake downloads and physical sales so just imagine what will be the case in 5 or 10 years time. Stay on your toes, keeping up to date with all the changes going on around you as they could be the factor that impacts your band for the better, potentially propelling you into the charts.