YouTube Ads for Promoting Music Videos: Initial Thoughts

One of our clients, Anthem Worship, just released a new music video for their song, Here to Stay.

Being that they are a part of the church, they had been posting all music videos and music-related content on their church's channel, but we advised them to build a second music-only channel as the target for the band is quite different than the local church and so the YouTube algorithm could do better about suggesting the songs to potential listeners.

All the videos were re-uploaded on a fresh channel with zero subscribers – so not only did we want to promote the new song, we wanted to also get some views back on the old videos that would inherently have less organic traffic. So it was a perfect chance to test YouTube ads – something I've been wanting to try for a while.

Obviously this is important because YouTube is one of the biggest music platforms in the world. In 2020 they say that over 2 BILLION people watched music content on YouTube – which is 4x the total number of Spotify users. It's also the 2nd most visited website in the world.

Anyway, I don't think I need to explain more about why YouTube is important, so lets move on to what we did in this instance to start rebuilding a YouTube presence.

It made sense that if we want to get more views on YouTube, we should be promoting to users already on YouTube (although I did try some Meta/FB/IG ads at the same time, but quickly nixed it – more on that later)! Getting people to switch which platform/site they are on is HARD; plus users have deeply ingrained consumption/usage habits so IG users don't necessarily mean they are solid YouTube users and vice-versa.

I decided to promote two videos on the new channel: the new music video for Here to Stay, and an older music video for a cover of the Elevation Worship song My Testimony. All the ads were displayed in the “suggestion” area (NOT the ads before/after videos).

YouTube Ads for Promoting Music Videos: Initial Thoughts | YouTube ads

I set up both to have a budget of $20/day. I let Here to Stay run for 4 days and My Testimony run for 2 days. Here to Stay gathered 1900 views (~200 organic) in that time and My Testimony gathered almost 800 (only 40% organic).

YouTube Ads for Promoting Music Videos: Initial Thoughts | YouTube ads
YouTube Ads for Promoting Music Videos: Initial Thoughts | YouTube ads

Initial Thoughts

  • The cost per view (CPV) was quite reasonable at around $0.04 to $0.05/view. Compare this to my initial run of Meta ads where it was closer to $1/click.
  • The total budget required to get results is MUCH lower than on Meta. When I experimented with Meta for this and in the past, it seems like it required a larger up-front investment to start getting results (like a couple of weeks at $10-20 a day).
  • While I said on average $20/day, it really front-loaded the spend. It did like $60 in the first 24 hours. I'm ok with this since I want to see results right away (which I did)! If you're new to paid ads, remember that these daily budgets are averaged out over weeks.
  • The quality of the views was higher than I was expecting for Here to Stay, but lower than expected for My Testimony.
    • On Here to Stay, even with 80% of views coming from the ad campaign, we still had roughly 50% of viewers still watching by the 0:30 mark – in line with most other videos I have analytics for. Also got 52 likes (98% up) which is more than
    • My Testimony had a lot of people peace out by 0:36. Which miiiight make sense since a lot of people might have clicked on it because recognize the song, but leave after it wasn't what they were expecting.
  • Even though it only netted us 44 subscribers (a more important metric in the long run), it still achieved the shorter-term goal of getting some credibility on a brand-new account. I imagine if this was done with a more established/subscribed account it would do more to “tip” the algorithm in our favor than with a brand new account.
  • I wish Google would let me target by genre or more granular interest. If I could specifically target worship music lovers or people who like Hillsong Young and Free, etc that would have been MUCH more powerful IMO. For now, “Music Lovers” seems to be the target that got the most traction according to the campaign reporting.
  • Did I mention that it makes sense that targeting YouTube viewers to watch your YouTube video makes more sense than asking them to switch what they're doing? 🙂

I will definitely plan on doing more YouTube ads in the future since the CPV seems good and I learned a lot – even with a relatively low spend. I can definitely see the power in making sure that ads have their own line in the budget from now on – rather than just decided to throw $100 at it for fun like I did here.

If you're interested in setting up YouTube ads for your band, we'd be happy to talk with you about setting that up! Just hit us up at the contact form!

David Ryan Olson

Hey I'm David. I'm a mix engineer and I run Evergreen Records. We are all about helping you grow.

If you'd like to work with us on your next project, or would love to chat about the music business, please don't hesitate to reach out!

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