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.