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What is the impact of a youtube music video on music sales?

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  • What is the impact of a youtube music video on music sales?

    If you post a video on youtube and it starts to get a lot of hits, how well or how poorly do those hits translate into sales of the song (or your other music) from your website? A friend of mine thinks that once you post a video on youtube you are going to lose a lot of potential sales because anyone can strip away the audio from the video and get the song for free. My own view is that 1) the exposure makes it worth the risk of giving the music away (if, in fact, it is true that you are going to give a lot of it away) plus 2) I have some evidence of a few music videos that went viral and the exposure translated almost immediately into roughly proportional sales at the artist’s website. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who knows first hand what the relation is in practice between putting a video up on youtube and the resulting effect on sales at the website. Thanks.

  • #2
    Historically, the plays:sales ratio is something in the hundreds of thousands to one. It's not worth worrying about one way or the other, IMO. For every OK Go there are 80,000 other bands who do nothing through YT.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.tauntr.com/">Tauntr.com - Adding Insult to Everything!</a><br><br><br><br>Neck Pocket Cavern Surveyor for the <font color="Red">Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You</font> club!<br><br><br><br>&quot;In all fairness, Les Pauls have a switch position labeled &quot;Rhythm&quot;, while Strats do not, because they are lead guitars for lead guitarists.&quot; -Flatspotter</div>

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    • #3
      Historically, the plays:sales ratio is something in the hundreds of thousands to one. It's not worth worrying about one way or the other, IMO. For every OK Go there are 80,000 other bands who do nothing through YT.


      I agree. We are funny creatures; it's as if we're in a restaurant and we see a dish flying out of the kitchen that everyone is ordering. And we assume that it must be the serving dish and the waitress delivering it. So we go back to our own little restaurant and buy the same dishes and hire servers that look like the ones in the other place and then can't figure out why our food isn't flying out of the kitchen too.
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.patcoast.com" target="_blank">http://www.patcoast.com</a><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot;The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio.&quot;-<i>Christhee68</i></font><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot; the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep.&quot;-<i> FitchFY</i></font></div>

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      • #4
        I have a few videos on youtube which have hit over 500k views. At first, I was cagey about it, worried out about lost sales.

        Yes, people can very easily rip any youtube video into an mp3.

        Yes, the risk of lost sales is worth the exposure. Youtube is THE #1 music streaming service, dwarfing Pandora, Spotify, Grooveshark, you name it.

        The exposure from youtube plays does, in fact, lead back to song sales----provided that your music is worth buying in the first place. You can have the cutest video ever, but if the song is ****************, it's not going to sell anyway.

        Look, back in the glory-days of the record industry, the artist had to shell out millions of dollars for radio and MTV exposure. I'm so thankful we're no longer in that era, because it's inherently unfair to the artist. The risk of youtube ripping is well-worth the luxury of not having to suck radio and MTV's dicks.

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        • #5
          How the hell did you get 500k views with a music video lol are you signed to a major?

          anyway, congrats!
          <div class="signaturecontainer">If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.<br />
          -- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot</div>

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          • #6
            Thanks everyone for your comments. I’d like to say a bit more about our situation and see if any of you have any suggestions. We have a cd that was professionally recorded in a studio, as well as six songs that were either recorded in a studio or recorded by me. I am in the process of finishing up a video of one of our songs. Our lead singer/songwriter has ‘health issues’ (no, not a drug problem!) that has prevented us for two years from doing any kind of touring or even doing shows locally, but we expect that to change by summer. (bluestrat: we have great food but our restaurant was shut down by the department of health). In the meantime, we were thinking of getting the website up and running and seeing what kind of exposure we can get. That’s why we were thinking of putting the video up on youtube. So, we’re in kind of a unique situation but want to get our music “out there” somehow in the meantime. Any suggestions?

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            • #7
              Put the video up...it won't hurt you, and, as you can't play out live, hits will simply give you an indication if there is any interest in your music. If snything, YT will not necessarily translate to sales...make sure you leave a breadcrumb trail back to your FB page, website, etc.
              _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

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              • #8
                If it gets a lot of super lot of hits they'll put it on the radio. You've seen that with a couple recent breakthrough hits.

                I love using Youtube to discover new music. What I do a lot is rip a lot of songs straight from Youtube to MP3, which is easy as cake. I mostly do this with interesting live performances and broadcasts of impossible-to-find 45s from way back when. There's a whole class of record nuts that put their finds on Youtube, or on their own blogs where they let you rip them for free. It's awesome.
                <div class="signaturecontainer">Correction - &quot;max is wrong, abrasive and, likely, a felon&quot;<br />
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                finally found it ... the dumbest person on the internet. matximus.</div>

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                • #9
                  and hopefully they have the legal right to do so...
                  _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

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                  • #10
                    Ya ,

                    Folks always buy the cow after recieving free milk ...... it's not like they have other wants they need the money for ......with a little luck all those other wants will be free too.... We live in Utopia!!!!
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><i>First kill the goose by refusing to feed it , then blame it for dying and not giving anymore gold eggs</i></b><img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/facepalm.gif" border="0" alt="" title="facepalm" class="inlineimg" /><br />
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                    • #11
                      I would think that anyone who would go through the trouble of converting your youtube videos into mp3s and then burning them to a CD probably wasn't going to buy your album even if there was no Youtube. So, I think it's worth it for the exposure. That's my humble opinion.
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                      • #12
                        If you have a cd for sale, you can add a link to where people can purchase it in the video. Anyone who likes the video is likely to follow the link.
                        <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.stephenquinnguitar.co.uk" target="_blank">www.stephenquinnguitar.co.uk</a></div>

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                        • #13
                          My $0.06

                          Any time we have had media coverage, it's generated sales. Songs on magazine covermount CDs does generate sales. Reviews in national magazines has generated sales. We've had a few tracks on youtube and, although it's had traffic, it hasn't conclusively led to sales, but it hasn't detracted either. Nothing wrong with some free advertising, IMO, especially if your video looks good!

                          What you have to consider is the cost of a campaign vs revenue generated. It's all well and good getting a good magazine review with cover art and generating a few sales. However, if what you spent on the review is way more than what your revenue it brings in, it's a moot point.

                          Generally, campaigns require planning and executing with precision detail. It's useless sticking a song on a covermount CD if that's the sum total of your activity for a few months. If you have a tour scheduled (or at least a good amount of dates with a national act), then a covermount CD and a review of your band's product is money well spent!

                          Just think of it as any product that gets advertised. Console manufacturers have this process down; just sit back, observe what they do and then do as they do!
                          <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Zazas Zazas Nasatanada Zazas</b><br />
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                          • #14
                            In my opinion the sites like Youtube have greatly effect the sales ratio of music, just for example few years back if you want to listen to songs or new music is launched you would go to market to buy it which helps a lot from singer point of view but now this ratio is decreased a lot but it has helped some as well, like the ones who don't have the money to launch their album or song can easily be published through such sites like Youtube.

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                            • #15
                              I've bought music before that I first heard on youtube although I have always wondered (and still do) if I'm in the minority these days. Most people just don't seem to value it enough and would rather listen for free.

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