If You Make Electronic Music, YouTube Might Just Work for You

In the vast and wondrous digital realm, the opportunities to discover exciting new music – and to get discovered yourself – are plenty. Yet, where there's demand, there's also supply. Lots and lots of it. We cranked out some stats to see what competitive edge different channels could give you, and dug more deeply into the one channel standing out.
If You Make Electronic Music, YouTube Might Work for You
Sara Mekinc

What’s out there?

With music streaming services in full swing, you can cherry-pick your favorites and weigh the pros and cons. For many Electronic artists, Beatport is the go-to choice: primarily directed towards DJs, and favoring the underground scene, the service offers hundreds of thousands of downloadable tracks to about 50M users. To sign with them and sell your tracks, though, you’ll need a distributor. Similarly, you’ll need a distributor or a record label to get your tracks on Spotify, which currently serves 230M+ active users with a nice collection of more than 50M tracks, but is not yet available worldwide, and has limited free features. 

Mastering the intricacies of mixers is often the easy part of the business.
Photo:  Alex Tormos (Unsplash)

So where does a starting independent artist turn to, apart their own social media? SoundCloud could work – it’s open, widely accessible, regional track availability is up to you, and there’s around 175M tracks uploaded already. And YouTube? When considering free services with global reach, it can seem too obvious of a choice. But really, hear us out for a moment.

2019: The year that demanded more Electronic

When we analysed the Top 1000 artists with the biggest annual subscriber growth on various channels (YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, etc.), Electronic acts usually made up around 10% of the bunch. Pop rules Spotify with 24%, and Hip Hop is still the boss of SoundCloud with 23%. But if you dig deeper into the YouTube stats, well, hello there! 

With 2B monthly active YouTube users out there, chances of finding welcoming ears are good.  

In 2019, Electronic acts saw a growth in YouTube popularity, becoming the third most popular genre in terms of new subscribers to artists’ channels. On average, the biggest “growers” snatched 387,000 new subscribers each. It gets better – when comparing average monthly views in 2018 and 2019, Electronic artists take the lead. More specifically: 15% of the 1000 music acts with the biggest rise in monthly YouTube views were in the Electronic genre. 

A good majority of the YouTube tracks with the biggest rise in monthly engagement is of the Dance and House persuasion (40% and 23%, respectively), followed by Downtempo (9%), Techno (7%) and Dubstep (6%), to name the most statistically prominent subgenres.

Granted, YouTube is probably not the channel of choice for Electronic artists, but the numbers don’t lie. It seems that in 2019, people were much more inclined to check out the videos and subscribe. Still, these findings don’t mean that your videos will start hitting insane numbers immediately after uploading. YouTube is also a visual medium, so taking care of interesting, visually captivating content can be essential. 

What makes a champion Tube rider?

The surge in engagement cannot be attributed to a single cause. When it comes to increasing your video views, keep “cross-pollination” in mind: plays might follow a successful (festival) gig or distinctive social media posts that pique people’s interest, or go hand in hand with new material and shoutouts from a “brand” name. Let’s talk examples. 

Alison Wonderland had a strong worldwide festival streak in 2019, spinning tirelessly at Pukkelpop, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Tomorrowland Belgium, among others. The result: a near 400% increase in her monthly YouTube views. So there’s an idea for your inner over-achiever. 

A strategic collab is another good idea: teaming up with rising Trap force Trippie Redd in 2018 brought Alison over 18M views.

Rising Downtempo star and neuroscience PhD holder Floating Points released the critically well-received album “Crush” in 2019 and booked several prominent gigs in the following festival season. Fan praise and resulting media exposure, like Pitchfork placing “Crush” in the “Best New Music” section, brought him a 325% increase in YouTube views compared to 2018. Bear in mind, besides being a really smart guy, Floating Points is also backed by Ninja Tunes, so his niche audience is quite well defined. 

“Ratio” is among Floating Points’ most viewed videos, scoring up to 23k weekly views at the time of the article.

If out-of-the-box thinking is your jam, take a page out of Swedish goofball Salvatore Ganacci’s book. He became known for his energetic live gig antics, and broke through the noise with a meme-friendly music video and Instagram posts that often leave even the most veteran internet dwellers speechless. Combined with a busy summer festival session, his YouTube plays increased by 425%.

Ganacci’s homage to “that” side of the internet has scored him over 19M views to date.

If the trend keeps up, tapping into YouTube’s possibilities might prove great for Electronic acts in 2020. Of course, your strategy is up to you. When plotting your next moves, be sure to check out our platform for new ideas, new acts on your scene, and trend updates.


Cover photo: Erik Mclean (Unsplash)


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Read next:

Lit, Litter, the Littest: Who Are the 10 Fastest-Rising Electronic Music Artists Right Now?

Unique Path to Success: Lessons From Savvy YouTubers

How to Be a Successful Musician on YouTube: Tips & Tricks

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Sara Mekinc

Sara Mekinc

Content Specialist at Viberate
Avid concert-goer, a sucker for creative wordsmithery, and 100 % biodegradable. Google "melomaniac".