More Than Music Videos

Developing a ‘More Pls’ YouTube content strategy for artists

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Taylor Swift’s ME! music video

It’s huge…

YouTube accounted for 47% of all on-demand music streaming time in 2018 making it the largest single streaming platform.

It’s a much better entry point for discovery than audio playlists…

Our visual memory is more powerful than our auditory memory. Humans recall memories from images better than they do words. Visuals add a new sense for connection and narrative elements further emotionally hook a new listener.

Latin America is the fastest growing market for music consumption. Source: IFPI Global Music Report, 2019

It’s global…

Latin America was the fastest growing territory of music consumption in 2018, according to the IFPI 2019 report, and YouTube is the undisputed titan of the region: 68% of Mexican under-45's watch music videos on YouTube, outstripping even radio. The same year K-Pop artists saw 100 million streams France, Peru, Turkey, and Canada largely thanks to short-form video going viral. And in India, 225 million people used YouTube every month.

The More Pls YouTube Content Strategy for Artists and Labels

More Pls video content strategy for artists leverages content known to work across interest verticals on YouTube to build a programming strategy beyond traditional music videos. Formats: Music, Observation, Reaction, Explanation, Provocation, Listicle, Statement.

The ‘More Pls’ YouTube content strategy is a framework of 7 video formats that create an insatiable pipeline of video to fuel artist growth

1) Music


Hero content to emotionally hook the listener to a specific track or project produced for promotional use.


  • Official asset
  • Performance element
  • Sets the mood
  • Aspirational


Official music video — visual images interpreting the lyrical content and themes of the song used to promote a single track.

Tommy Cash — X-Ray (Official Video)
FKJ Live set at Salar De Uyuni for Cercle
Billie Eilish covers Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ for Like A Version
Marshmello ft. Khalid — Silence (Official Lyrics Video)
Kodak Black — Testimony (Visualizer)

2) Observation


Get people talking about the song or artist by creating controversy.


  • Subjective
  • Informative
  • Strong, singular viewpoint


Reviews — artist rates and/or critiques something familiar.

Joji & Sean Evans Review Japanese Snacks for First We Feast
Taylor Swift speculation by a gossip news site
Kanye West on the importance of “unprogramming” and breaking the matrix for the FADER

3) Reaction


Entertain audiences by leveraging popular culture.


  • Unscripted
  • Human nature
  • Speaks directly to viewer


Unboxing — detailed look at a product, i.e.: merch, vinyl, cassettes, and other physical packaging. Captures artist or fans first response.

Father John Misty unboxes his own vinyl of Pure Comedy release
Pink reacts to BLACKPINK
Critic reacts to Lil Yacht x Lil Pump x Offset by P F / Dad Reacts

4) Explainer


Help existing fans or fans on the fence better understand the artist’s brand/lifestyle and music.


  • Artist talks directly to viewer
  • Simplifies complex subject matter


How to play — Geared towards hobbyist musicians and people interested in the technical aspects of popular music.

White Denim official video for ‘Had To Know’ with guitar tabs to play along
Armin van Buuren masterclass for Future Music
BLACKPINK dance practice video for DDU-DU DDU-DU
YG ‘Go Loko’ Official Lyrics & Meaning
Rihanna’s Epic 10-Minute Guide to Going Out Makeup

5) Provocation


Provide insight into artist personality by entertaining the viewer.


  • Surprise
  • Viewer rooting for the artist
  • Physical, mental or emotional barrier


Ability — mental, physical or emotional challenge of a seemingly difficult task.

First We Feast challenges Offset to eat spicy wings while conducting an interview
Can Diplo Remember His Own Drops for BBC Radio 1
Charlie Puth on Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts for the Late Late Show With James Cordon

6) Listicle


Provides an entry point to the artist by providing a summary of the artist’s work or tying them to a wider, more accessible theme.


  • Summarizes
  • Subject matter spans wider than artist’s own world
  • Taps cultural trends


Best of’s/favorites — summarizes tracks into a mood, event or themed list.

Zedd Creates the Playlist of His Life for Teen Vogue
Future Goes Sneaker Shopping for Complex
Queen’s Greatest Hits in one hour-long video

7) Statement


Create an emotional connection to the artist by showing their perceived human side.


  • Interviewer and interviewee
  • Audience gains insight to little known things about a familiar subject matter
  • Human


Q+A — interviewer asks a set number of questions to investigate one or many storylines.

Kylie Jenner interviews Travis Scott for GQ
Beyoncé’s making of her Homecoming Coachella performance

Music marketing consultant. Downtown Records & Big Spaceship alumni. Writes about music, strategy and feels at Deep Cuts

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