Music on YouTube: Supply those pipes! (MIDiA Research)

Head of MIDiA Research Mark Mulligan has published an article about maximizing YouTube music chanels. Titled How YouTube can be a music industry growth driver, the piece asserts that non-Anglo music channels on YT operate differently from their Anglo counterparts, and are finding success.

Mulligan’s point is about volume and steadiness of posting. He provides the following illuminating chart:

This graphic, which is from an upcoming bi-annual YouTube music report from MIDiA Research, illustrates upload volume and frequency in the top 10 most subscribed YouTube channels of 2020. The disparity is clear: Each of the four non-Angle channels has uploaded far more than any of the Western channels.

“Most artist channels on YouTube deliver content infrequently and, crucially, only sporadically,” Mark Mulligan writes. “YouTube audiences expect more from YouTube channels. This approach implicitly treats YouTube channels as fan clubs rather than the content feeds that they are designed to be.” He suggests treating subscribers like social media friends.

Mulligan also notes that all four non-Angle success stories are label channels, not artist channels. “Of course, a label-led approach flies against how music fandom has worked for decades (niche afficionado labels excepted) but a genre or label approach alongside artist channels can be a way of driving subscriber engagement and pushing up ad revenues.”

There is an overall point in Mark Mulligan’s thesis, which is that despite its age and established position in media distribution, YouTube is growing fast in audience, views, and revenues. “Now is the time to start experimenting with new formats and content strategy,” he says.

Brad Hill