Five Ways to Send Videos Viral -- And Get Paid: Latin Experts Share Tips

Becky G’s “Mayores,” featuring Bad Bunny, has over 1.1 billion YouTube views.
Courtesy Photo

Becky G’s “Mayores,” featuring Bad Bunny, has over 1.1 billion YouTube views.

In the past year, videos by Latin artists have overtaken YouTube, at any given point comprising more than a third of all the videos on the platform's global 100 chart, and routinely dominating the top 10. That's made it more essential that ever for Latin artists and labels to find ways to rack up millions of views, fast.

"The sheer volume driven by Latin consumers' hyper-consumption makes the music video an absolute must-have when properly promoting a song or album or aiming for a favorable chart position," says Horacio Rodriguez, SVP marketing for Universal Music Latin Entertainment. Billboard spoke with a range of experts for tips on how to send videos viral - while making sure to cash in.

Keep 'Em Coming

Artists who release videos frequently and regularly see their content show up more often on YouTube lists and recommendations. That was the path for success for Ozuna and Bad Bunny, prolific video posters who racked up millions of followers in record time. "What matters most is that you are connecting and engaging with your YouTube fans to ensure continued growth and success in the long term versus only seeking them when a video drops," says Sandra Jimenez, head of music for Latin America for YouTube and Google Music.

Timing Is Everything

For Nerea Igualador, head of digital business for Sony Music US Latin, income is more important than number of views: "A million streams in December [peak advertising season] doesn't generate the same as a million streams in August," she says. As for the best day and time to post videos, Thursday at midnight is ideal, as it coincides with single releases. Fridays and Saturdays are among the most active days for music engagement on streaming platforms.

Advertise with Ambition

Many artists buy ads that appear before other artists' music clips to market their own videos. "True View" ads, which charge the artist or label only when a fan clicks through, can cost more, but pros say that engaged fans are worth it. And although there is much rumor in the industry about "buying" views, it's a practice Google doesn't allow - and one that doesn't offer real longterm gains. "If I could buy views in Google there would be a lot of 'Despacitos'!" laughs Robert Davila, owner of digital and branding companies YT Rocket (which specializes in platforms like YouTube) and 2Heart.

Market the Right Moment

A good still image can entice more clicks, while a boring one can slow a video's spread when it pops up in YouTube's recommendations. Market the video offline, too: For Nicky Jam's "El Amante," a scratched up car was driven around Medellin, generating rumors of a lover's fight and tons of traffic to the video upon its release.

Location, Location, Location

To maximize revenue rather than views, target markets like the United States and Mexico, which have higher ad rates than other countries where racking up views quickly may be easier.

This article originally appeared in the April 21 issue of Billboard.