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Top Strategies

for Electronic Music - Labels, DJs, Festivals

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Top Strategies for Electronic Music

Table of Contents
Electronic Dance Music is one of the largest and fastest growing music
genres on YouTube. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, 5 out of the top 10
music channels are Electronic Music focused and include a range of labels,
events and DJs. Electronic Music fans are also some of the most engaged
music fans on and off YouTube -- they attend events regularly and share their
experiences online. What Electronic Music channels have in common are very
loyal audiences that want to engage directly with their music.
Whether you are a label, a DJ or an event producer, YouTube is the place for
you to release original content and engage with your audience.
This guide is designed specifically with Electronic Music labels, DJs and event
producers in mind. It will help you understand and apply Electronic Music
specific strategies so you can find success on the platform.
In addition to highlighting some popular channels in the space, and
explaining top strategies, we have also provided accompanying ways to do it
to help you get started in building a large and sustainable YouTube presence.

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YouTube has become a global focal point

for electronic music lovers, representing
a huge shift in the musical and cultural
landscape of our times. Electronic music is a
visionary genre driven by digital natives and
prosumers where performer and audience
are often the same thing YouTube absorbs
and encourages this culture into one
destination and has helped put a picture
to a historically faceless genre
Ben Turner
Co-Founder, IMS (International Music Summit)
& AFEM (Association for Electronic Music)

Top Strategies for Electronic Music

Create An Identity: Channel Design

Program Like a DJ: Playlists

Let Your Fans Listen: Regular & Uncut Uploads

Extend The Life of Live: Clipping & Packaging

Give Backstage Access: Exclusive Content

Develop Repeat Viewers: Audience Engagement

Showcase The Experience: Live Sets & Festivals

Expand Your Audience: Artist Collaborations

Timing Matters: Publishing Schedule

Tap Into Your Community: Off Platform Promotion

Build Hype: Maximising Assets & Samplers

Push Purchases: Tickets, Merchandise, Downloads

Make It Discoverable: Metadata

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Create an Identity: CHANNEL DESIGN

Design a channel that is consistent with your brand and creates an aesthetically pleasing
experience. Optimise your real estate to promote new releases, albums and events.

Channel Icon
Channel Banner

InVideo Programming
Welcome Video

Channel Section

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/AnjunaBeats has a well

crafted channel design
with consistent branding
and is updated to promote
upcoming events
and releases.
Featured Channels

Create an Identity: Ways To Do It

Channel Icon: Design a bright, high contrast avatar that reflects the brand and is recognizable in smaller
formats like the channel guide.
Channel Banner: Create a channel banner that is formatted for all devices , clearly articulates the label,
DJ or artists name and promotes upcoming events.
Welcome Video: Programme your most recent track or create an original preview video.
Thumbnails: Design consistent close-up high definition thumbnails that reflect the title of the video and
the content. Include branding that matches the channel aesthetic.
Channel Section: Organize music videos into themed sections for easy navigation and listening.
InVideo Programming: Promote your channel and feature a recent video or playlist across your entire
library of uploads.
Featured Channels: Feature channels from your label or promote other related artists.

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Let Your Fans Listen:

Electronic Music fans tend to be dedicated listeners that want to come back to your channel
often. Publish new content regularly and programme original track mixes to give them
something to come back to.
Views from Subscribers


A popular US music channel began

uploading at least one video per
month in conjunction with their new
album release.


After the increase in upload frequency

average monthly views from subscribers
increased by 320%.

Regularly uploading at least 1 video per month

1-Jan-13 1-Feb-13 1-Mar-13 1-Apr-13 1-May-13 1-Jun-13

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1-Jul-13 1-Aug-13 1-Sep-13 1-Oct-13


Let Your Fans Listen: Ways To Do It

Publish Regularly: Publish content to the channel at minimum once a week and communicate
this schedule to the audience.
Upload Multiple Tracks: If listeners come back to the same tracks on repeat, make multiple
versions of the popular tracks available on the channel to extend viewers watch sessions.

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Give Backstage Access: EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

Your fans are looking for exclusive videos. Produce behind the scenes content and clip
footage to give them unique access to your artists and events.

/ProtocolRecordings produce a series showcasing the

making of their music videos.

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Deniz Koyu shows the making of his track Ruby on /Axtone TV.

Give Backstage Access: Ways To Do It

Create Original Content: Fans are looking for engage more with exclusive content.
Produce original content that showcases the talent and the music in a creative way:
Exclusive Tracks: Give your fans something to discover by releasing exclusive tracks and
cuts to the channel.
Tour Footage: Allow the audience to see what happens behind the scenes on the
artists tour by publishing original tour footage.
Artist Content: Let your audience get to the know the artist and hear directly from them
by producing vlog content with the talent.
Studio Sessions: Give fans the raw experience of how artists work and where tracks are
produced by showcasing the creative process.
Track Creation: Show your audience how their favourite tracks are created and learn from
the talent directly.

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Showcase the Experience:

Produce live content that captures the full experience of your event. Recreate the live feeling
for your fans who cant be there and for those who want to relive it.

/Q-dances closing ritual of the Defqon festival video

captures the event and receives viewership from
the Netherlands, Germany, France and Mexico.
These videos also see high view durations and
engagement from Antigua and Barbuda,
Caribbean Netherlands, Martinique and Sudan.

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Showcase the Experience: Ways To Do It

Get prepared: Live broadcasts may take more preparation than your typical video. Make sure you
sufficiently test all the technical components well in advance of your live event.
Let your fans know what is coming: Live events require much more promotion than VOD because
you really want fans to tune in at a certain time. In the days leading up to the event, use spoken calls
to action to direct viewers to tune in. It is also a great idea to use all your social media outlets to
remind people when the live event is starting. Even a dedicated channel trailer about the live event
can be a useful promotional tool.
Pay attention to live comments: There are few ways better to build engagement than to
respond live to your fans. Keep an eye on the comments and talk back to your audience.
Use Timestamps: Help viewers navigate long content with timestamp links in the description field.
Simply add #t=1m50s to the end of a video URL.

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Plan a timeline for creating and publishing your content to develop an engaged fanbase.

Spinnin Records have experienced consistent

view and subscriber growth through their
regular publishing schedule:
We believe in consistency of good content.
We upload daily and use 8-12 week timelines
of promoting and premiering our videos which
means theres around 50 timelines active at
any given point in time. - Spinnin Records

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Timing Matters: Ways To Do It

Album Announced

Single(s) Released

Content Strategies

Content Strategies

Album teaser/sampler
Countdown to release

Video & Channel Optimisations

Update channel branding
with release date
Add release date and
pre-order links to
annotations and
Enable In-Video

Lyric or audio video

Official music video

Album Released
Content Strategies
Official audio streams
for all songs
Google+ Hangouts
Livestream launch party
Release studio sessions /
album making-ofs

Video & Channel Optimisations Video & Channel Optimisations

Update channel sections
to feature new content
Drive lyric video viewers
to official music video with
Begin playlisting videos

Update channel branding

to reflect album release
Update video description
and annotations to drive to
album playlist or purchase

Events and Festivals

Content Strategies
Dont stop uploading!
Record and upload live
performances in
longform and VOD
Event trailer/teaser and
lineup announcement
Experiential videos
Artist vlogs
Collaborative videos
Video & Channel Optimisations
Update channel branding
to reflect the event
Add event links to
annotations and descriptions
Update channel sections
with tour footage and
interesting UGC
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Electronic Music tracks have a long shelf life and listeners come back to them on repeat.
Use your top tracks to generate interest in your upcoming releases and events. Create
trailer, first listen, and sampler videos to build anticipation.

YouTube is a key platform to get new tracks and videos out to our fans, via our /Armada Music, A State of Trance
and Armin van Buuren channels. Combined with my radio shows and the live streaming of our events, it offers a
valuable promotional platform for our labels and the artists on those labels. - Armin van Buuren

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Build Hype: Ways To Do It

Leverage Top Tracks: On average Electronic Music tracks have very high view durations and
maintain viewership over long periods of time. Leverage these tracks to promote upcoming
events and new releases through InVideo programming, video and End Card annotations.
Produce Promotional Videos: Generate interest in upcoming events and releases by
producing original promotional videos:
Teasers: Create teasers of upcoming events, track releases and publish immediately
after they are announced to capitalize on organic search traffic.
Lineup Releases: Release lineup videos around upcoming events and festival artists.
Samplers: Create sampler videos for fans to get a taste of new albums.
First listens: Release videos for a limited duration on the channel to allow fans to be
first listenersfrom the talent directly.

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Make It Discoverable: METADATA

Ensure that your audience can find and buy your music by optimising the metadata on and off YouTube.
Artist Channel

Music Cards

Auto-generated Artist Channels

that appear in search results (left)
and Music Cards that drive
viewers to purchase tracks from
video descriptions (top) are two
dynamic features that can be
unlocked with well-kept metadata.

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Make It Discoverable: Ways To Do It

Optimize Video Metadata:
Titles: A majority of traffic comes from searches on artist and song terms. Ensure that these
are present at the beginning of the title. Include specific descriptive terms such as Remix,
Acapella and Live about the track at the end of the Title to set listeners expectations.
Descriptions: Include the artists name and song titles in the top of the description with
additional context about the track. Add additional links for subscription and to purchasing
below the fold. Where applicable include information about the event, the album and song lyrics.
Uploads: Select music as a video category upon upload and fill out the metadata fields when
enabling content ID.

Optimize Off Platform: Match YouTube metadata with the terms used on the following sites:
Musicbrainz, Freebase, AllMusic, Songkick, Wikipedia.

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Program like a DJ: PLAYLISTS

Playlists drive huge amounts of views and watchtime in Electronic Music. Curate your fans session
by organising your content into thematic playlists and encouraging them to keep watching.

/Ministry Of Sound creates playlists based

on their events, releases and artists. They
also create genre specific curated playlists
featuring content from other channels and
update them regularly. Their EM channel
playlists frequently generate up to 15% of
channel traffic.

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Program Like a DJ: Ways To Do It

Create Themed Playlists: Playlists drive huge amounts of views and watchtime in Electronic Music.
Create specific playlists around DJs, artist picks, albums and events to extend viewers watch sessions.
Think editorially by keeping these up to date and creating new playlists for specific events.

Curate Playlists: Create curated playlists that include videos from other channels.

Push Engagement: Use annotations, calls to action and descriptions that link to the playlist in order
to drive viewers into the playlist viewing mode.

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Extend the Life of Live:

Clip full length sets, events and live performances into short-form videos and optimise their
metadata to help your fans find and share them.

/Tomorrowland clips specific DJ sets from the full event

Content on YouTube is our candy store where everyone
can taste. - Tomorrowland

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The aftermovie is our icon to spread the once in a lifetime

experience all over the world. - Tomorrowland

Extend the Life of Live: Ways To Do It

Clip for On Demand: Clip live event and uncut footage into specific artist, DJ and track
videos. Create videos around specific moments that your fans can share.
Optimize Medata: Re-title and update the video description with specific searchable terms to increase
channel discovery.
Include Navigational Annotations: Include annotations on the repackaged clips so that viewers can
navigate to related content such as other tracks by the same DJ and back to the original long-form event.

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Develop Repeat Viewers:

Turn your audience into repeat viewers by engaging with them on the channel and by giving them
access to exclusive content.

/Above & Beyond hosted a G+ Hangout with their Top Fans.

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/Protocol Recordings created a music video based

on fan submitted content and received 91K views.


Develop Repeat Viewers: Ways To Do It

Engage with your Fans: Give back to your fans by showing them that you are listening. Including
shoutouts and responding to comments are a few ways to engage with them on the channel.
Producing Fan Content: Producing content around requests and creating videos about the fans
(like with audiences at a concert) are also great ways to engage with listeners.
Exclusive Content: Releasing exclusive content such as artist Q&As, pre-releases to top fans
and G+ hangouts with the artists onto the channel are effective ways to develop repeat viewers.
Producing these content formats regularly develops audience expectations and gives them
something to come back to.

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Expand Your Audience:

Recommendations and partnerships are key to music discovery on YouTube. Cross-promote
and create YouTube specific collaboration events and tracks to raise your channels profile
and attract new audiences.

/deadmau5 & /imogenheap hosted a Hangout where they

talk cats and their track Telemiscommunications, which
was released on the same date.
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/Steve Aoki participates in a variety of collaborations with on and off

platform talent including Cesar Milan and Epic Meal Time.


Expand Your Audience: Ways To Do It

Collaboration Videos: Collaboration videos are an effective tool to attract a new audience
to the channel. Create original collaboration tracks with other artists on your YouTube
channel to draw in new listeners. Ensure that the other artists push traffic to the collaboration
video through annotations and social engagement.
Guest Playlists: Invite DJs and other tastemakers to curate specific playlists for the channel.
If managing multiple channels, create specific playlists promoting your other artists and their
top tracks.
Feature Channels: Feature other channels in your inventory and have other channels
feature your channel to increase awareness and viewership.

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Tap into your Community:

While your audience may be a fan of your music, they may not be aware of your channel.
Promote your YouTube content off-platform to drive engagement on your channel.

/Tisto promotes Season 2 of his YouTube series In The Booth across G+, Facebook, and Twitter
with tracking links to monitor engagement which were embedded across the web.

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Tap into your Community: Ways To Do It

Social Platform Promotion: Identify where your fans are engaged online. Make use of your
social platforms to encourage engagement and direct traffic to the channel.
External Sites: Work with external sites, blogs and tastemakers to showcase the channels
content. Create a blogroll that content is pushed to on a regular basis.
Leverage Talent: DJs and artists typically have large online followings. Have talent push
content and promote it directly to their fans.

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Use your channel to push viewers to purchase your goods. Make use of strong calls to action
and annotations to promote purchasing.

iTunes Store

Defected Records create interactive Album Samplers

for each of their releases, in addition to pushing
external merch annotations leading to buy on sites
such as iTunes.
These videos create high engagement with average
annotation click-through-rates of 15%.

Purchase Links
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Push Purchases: Ways To Do It

Offsite Annotations: When applicable include off-site annotations directing viewers to the
organizations website.
Merch Annotations: Include merch annotations directly on the videos to promote licensed
merchandise on Play, Songkick and iTunes.
Promotional Videos: When programming teaser and samplers videos, include links to purchase
tickets, tracks and albums directly.
Descriptions: Include additional links in the video description that promote sites where viewers
can purchase merchandise.
Be mindful of driving viewers off-site and decreasing the channel watch-time.

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Top Strategies for Electronic Music


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