Youtube for the Arts Webchat Panel 2014 Bringbacks

Marc Kirschner, founder and CEO, TenduTV/Cultureband

Plan ahead (more than you think). Don’t rush into posting a video related to an upcoming performance two weeks or less in advance. You may miss the opportunity to maximize the potential long-term benefits of that piece of content within YouTube’s algorithms.

Chris Unitt, founder, One Further

Take time to make use of the tools that are available now. We’re talking about a few minutes of work that will have a significant effect on the number of people who will find your videos and then be more likely to watch them to the end. Bearing in mind the cost and effort that goes into producing a video, it’s baffling that people aren’t doing this stuff already.
Personality pays.

Chris Shipman, content producer (social media and news), Royal Opera House

Have clear objective: What do you want people to get out of it?
Think about metadata as well. Make it easier for people to find your hours of hard work.
Integrate bespoke in-site player with Youtube.
Get the right backstage insights: Ballet and dance fans love rehearsal clips and “making of” films, eg how a pointe shoe is made. Opera and music fans like performance and “masterclass” clips, eg Joyce DiDonato offering tips on how to sing. The audiences want to understand how a prop is made or a dancer being fitted for a costume. For both audiences, live-streaming is a big draw, but this can be a huge undertaking!

Sarah Urist Green, creator and curator, The Art Assignment

Be personal: Have a regular host or consistent personality in the series. Give the audience a sense of accessibility.

Luke Hood, director at AEI Media and founder of dance music YouTube channel, UKF

Content is king. Adjust your content, listen to the reactions of the subscribers. Group things together in playlists correctly, so people will watch five videos in one go, rather than just one. Use end slates linking to other videos they’re likely to click on. Comment and interact with your audience to build you as a brand or channel, and get exclusive content.

Alex Holder, executive creative director, Anomaly London

YouTube is a place where high production values aren’t necessarily a prerequisite; it is idea over execution. Basic videos can resonates with a huge audience.
Subscriber tips:
• Be authentic: a person talking to camera works really well; it feels personal.
• Be regular and reliable: post content on a regular schedule. Even thought people aren’t watching it live, people like to know when the next video is coming out.
• Ask your audience what they want to see: respond to comments, ask your audience for feedback on videos and ask what they’d like to see more of.
Also be aware that, especially with a subject like the arts, you’re going to have very passionate audiences. You don’t have to make content that appeals to everyone. You can make viewers very happy by being specific with the stuff you put out there.

Simon Walker, chief strategy officer, Rightster

Take advantage of the emergence of a new set of influencers. Cultivate and develop this new breed of creators and curators.

Chris McGill, creative director, Dusthouse

Behind the scenes style documentaries work wonderfully for a certain audience. Allowing viewers into “off limits” areas (rehearsal rooms, tech, wardrobe, dressing rooms) really helps build anticipation for forthcoming productions.
The “concept trailer” – a creative film produced weeks before a production opens – has a huge impact on ticket sales. Through showing YouTube or Vimeo viewers a film for the creative arts that speaks their own language will always create more interest in your product.

Our panel’s top dos and don’ts

  • Do use annotations and other calls to action to drive sales and subscriptions.
  • Don’t neglect the power of your channel, so make your default video an example of what you offer on your channel, not simply your latest clip. Use a clearly identifiable channel ident and attractive channel header art.
  • Do stick to a schedule (if permitted).
  • Don’t make content that’s too long: not many people want to sit through a 20-minute interview so keep it short and snappy, although there are exceptions.
  • Do be part of the YouTube community: if you can, comment on other people’s videos and add something to the ecosystem.
  • Don’t rely on talking heads: if you’re doing an interview, use cutaways to give the film more dynamics.
  • Do use end slates to drive people to other relevant content.
  • Don’t put in metadata that isn’t relevant to your video to try and game the system; it doesn’t work.
  • Do use analytics to understand what specific metadata might work.
  • Do watch what the big YouTube channels are doing, especially the ones that are YouTube native and didn’t have the benefits of an existing brand: pick up tips and tricks from them. See VidStatsX for lists of the biggest channels.
  • Do read the likes of Tubefilter and New Media Rockstars to keep pace with new developments.
  • Do check your analytics and look out for any types of video that consistently underperform, especially looking at the percentage of a video that people tend to watch.
  • Do read the YouTube Creator Playbook: there’s lots of good stuff in there.
  • Don’t upload content with blurry thumbnails: add custom ones that are clear even in small sidebar size.
  • Do know what you’re trying to achieve with each video and make it clear to viewers what they should do next, eg buy a ticket, watch another video, leave a comment and so on.
  • Do post with regularity: don’t just have a glut of content and then nothing for ages; space it out.
  • Do integrate YouTube with your other social media: if you’re doing an interview, ask questions via Twitter and feed this in.
  • Do upload content of the highest quality you can: if you have the option to use HD (even smartphones can now shoot in it), film in HD; there’s no excuse for 240p quality clips anymore.

As seen on:
Photo credit:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.