How to promote music on YouTube

How to promote music on YouTube

On June 17 2016 Korean brand Pinkfong released their video ‘Baby Shark Dance’, and the rest is history. On February 11 2021 the video was the most viewed music video of all time, surpassing the former record holder ‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonsi. ‘ Baby Shark Dance ’ currently has 9.5 billion views on YouTube.

Imagine what kind of ad revenue must have been generated by that music video?

YouTube has been one of the most important platforms for music discovery for over a decade. Luis Fonsi and Gangnam Style are good examples of that. But emerging on YouTube is just as elusive as breaking through on Spotify, these platforms are basically shaped like pyramids. The majority of all videos receive few views and only a handful of videos break records.

The good thing about YouTube is that it is owned by Google. And yes, we all know Google is king when it comes to advertising. Google is the biggest media company in terms of online advertising and yes, promoting a music video can be done through Google Ads.

The options we have on Google Ads are elaborate. F.e. Google Display ads, Google Search, Google Shopping and YouTube (TrueView) ads. In this case, we will focus on promoting videos.

Google Display Ads Google Search Ads Google Shopping Ads YouTube Ads

What are the options?

If we compare Spotify with YouTube there is one big difference: on Spotify, you can promote a playlist. On YouTube, it is not possible to promote a YouTube Channel or YouTube playlist. You can use YouTube Creator Studio to improve your channel but unfortunately, it is not possible to boost the music channel using an ads campaign. Kwettr boosts videos; not channels or content on YouTube Music.

Promoting a music video is the best option for musicians. This can be done by Kwettr, a Google Certified ads partner. All our options can be read on the Solutions page of YouTube Marketing.

Kwettr YouTube Marketing

How can I start?

Getting started with YouTube ads is easy. If you are an independent artist, simply select one of our packages, include the URL of your music video and tell us the genre. After purchase, we will boost your music video until it has reached a certain number of views. This can be done for every music genre. At the end of the campaign, you will receive a recap with all results, including clicks, views and impressions.

Are there limitations?

Yes, the Google algorithm is very powerful yet not 100% accurate. It goes without saying that nudity, alcohol and explicit content are not allowed, but in some cases, the algorithm accidentally flags content that is safe. In these cases, we contact YouTube and give it our best effort to get the promotion started. In rare cases that this is not successful, we have a money-back guarantee.

Can I monetize the view?

Yes, you can. The views on your video are real views, by real people and if you have enabled monetization on your channel you will get paid for the views we generate through ads campaigns. Kwettr also offers distribution services; monthly reporting and payments.

How can I target my YouTube ads?

We create a report based on the genre of music and we use a so-called targeting pack for creating ads. In case you have specific needs, we can also place ads on YouTube channels and videos of your choice. Adding targeting options (such as demographics or age, musical preference) does mean that the cost per view is increased.

YouTube Marketing Targeting pack

YouTube Shorts

What is a YouTube Short?

YouTube Shorts are videos no longer than 60 seconds and have to be seen as the appetizer to the main course (that is how YouTube explains it). It shows small pieces of content before a music video is posted. Should we see this as a new way of music video promotion, or are there downsides as well?

First of all, new music shared on YouTube Shorts is monetized; royalties are collected. An artist can use a Short to make money even before the long-form video is released. Links to shorts can be shared on social media to attract more viewers.

Secondly, YouTube Shorts are great for new music discovery. Fans get served small pieces of content of a longer YouTube video which is still to come.

Can a YouTube Short be promoted with a YouTube ad? At this point, unfortunately not (yet). It is a fairly new format and a solid way of music promotion is still to be discovered for YouTube Shorts.

Another concern is that Shorts might cannibalize the streams of longer music videos. And, of course, there is no guarantee for the growth of the channel in terms of more YouTube views. In terms of getting more subscribers; the first feedback is positive when it comes to using Shorts.


Can I use ads to get more YouTube subscribers? The answer is no, you can’t use a YouTube promotion to grow the number of subscribers. This can of course be done by regular ad campaigns from outside the platform (for example Google Ads or ads on social media) and by asking fans to subscribe. However, using a YouTube ad to get more subscribers is not possible.

Best practices

Most of our clients combine YouTube ads with Spotify playlist campaigns. These two promotions combined increase the stream numbers and reach on the two most important music platforms. It drives traffic from social media and turns viewers into fans.

A Kwettr music promotion lasts for around 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the budget. Select the music video you want us to promote, send us a link to the YouTube video and goals for the campaign. Our account managers can help you determine the right goals. You can also use our promotion for a lyric video. We reach your target audience and you can see results in YouTube Analytics.

Some of our customers also use our mail campaigns and social media support to drive more traffic. Our distribution service can get your music online and on any major streaming platform.

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