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YouTube's Music Insights Help Bands Hunt Down the Best Crowd

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There is no way to understate just how much YouTube has done to change the music industry in the past decade. It has become the industry weapon of choice for music video promotion, the thing MTV tried to be but never fully succeeded and it has grown into the most varied, malleable radio station on the planet. Whilst many artists might lament the ease of free access to so much music that the site offers, many musicians wouldn't be where they are today without being able to plug their sound into the YouTube amp.

As this influence has become more evident, YouTube have been doing more to improve their artist support, and not just on the A-list scale. All the big hitters pull in a substantial chunk of revenue from YouTube, Vevo sees to that, but more tools to help smaller, grassroots artists are gradually being introduced.

In March 'Info Cards' were added, which enable artists to post information about gigs, merchandise and general publicity information over the top of their videos. Fan Funding also makes it that much easier to donate money to your favorite artists (which would obviously appeal far more to fans of artists who rely on that kind of support).

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Music Insights might be the most inventive and useful addition yet, though. Using the extensive analytical information already collected by YouTube, the tool shows artists exactly where in the world they are getting the most views, which songs are getting the most views and aggregate views of versions of their songs uploaded by them and by their fans.

This will allow artists to pinpoint exactly how their sound is being responded to, how far it's reaching and crucially, where to tour to get the best response. An artist might, for instance, find that they're playing reasonably well in the UK, but much better in Spain and especially in Barcelona, giving them a far better idea of how to organise their next tour, as well as arming them with some information that will help convince venues to book them.

The added benefit of this over similar services that could be offered by Spotify or Pandora is the sheer size of the audience that YouTube has, it boasts over 1 billion users and 6 billion videos are viewed on the site every month. 

Besides this, the key difference between YouTube and those services though is that Spotify, Tidal and other streaming services were intended to work as such from the outset, whereas YouTube gradually morphed into a streaming service over time via user momentum and clever marketing. With a combination of not only the most broad, but also the most informative analytics, they're not giving up that throne any time soon.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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YouTube's Music Insights Help Bands Hunt Down the Best Crowd Reviewed by Callum Davies on Friday, June 05, 2015 Rating: 5

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