What YouTube tells me about my music (Part 1)

A few years ago, I started posting videos on YouTube.  About six months ago, I started to get more serious about it, and today, YouTube is an important part of my marketing.  I now have over 100 videos there, so if you have not visited my channel, please do so and make sure to subscribe to get notified of new videos.

Besides the exposure YouTube gives me, it is useful in other ways.  For example, it has a tool called “Hot Spots” that helps you know how people respond to your videos.  It tracks when people stop watching (most videos are not watched until the end) and also, when people back up to watch a section again.

When I post a song, this tool gives me some insight into how effective the song is.  It is not perfect insight but it is very helpful.  It helps me figure out when people get bored and whether my musical storytelling is effective.

I am going to do a short series of posts walking through what this tool tells me about some of my songs.  I would be interested in your input as well.

Today, let’s take a few minutes to walk through a clip of “The Love of God.”   This is a very simple video that is not a live performance.  It is rather just my arrangement from Reflections on a Journey synched to some nature scenes.  


The chart shows the reaction of viewers over the course of the song.  The higher the green line, the better. The red bar in the upper right hand corner of the chart is an overall indicator of how popular this video is compared to others of a similar length.  As it turns out, listeners really dig this video.  Don’t worry: I will show you some others not nearly as popular.

Note that viewers are initially fairly uninterested.  I would attribute that to two things.  First, many people are turned off when they realize that this video is not a live performance.  Second, the beginning is pretty mild without fireworks.

However, the rising green line makes me happy.  It indicates that the arrangement grows on the listener throughout the entire song. 

There is one section of the song that viewers do not really care for though.  Note the big dip that starts at the beginning of the second verse and continues until the chorus starts.  That section is one I really like.  It utilizes twos against threes rhythm, which we all know is challenging to play.  However, it is clear that the typical listener does not really appreciate that complexity. 

Here is my takeaway.  It is good to remember that technical ideas are often only appreciated by a very small number of your audience.  In many cases, technically difficult things will either be ignored by your audience or may even turn them off altogether as I will demonstrate in a later video.

Overall, I am pleased with this chart though.  It indicates my storytelling was solid in this arrangement.  In my next post of this series, I will show you an example that is not so positive.