Important Channel Changes

For both our benefit...

It has been bothering me for a very long time why I have so many subscribers yet so few views, despite uploading regularly and having a 98% thumb-up/down ratio, regular commenting and good watch time.  I make videos primarily as requests and have made so many playlists, not to mention keeping older videos updated with newer links, that it seemed impossible my newly uploaded videos were not performing better.  This problem dosn't only affect me financially and in terms of channel pride but it also means so many people are not seeing my new content, so what was I doing wrong and how could I fix it?

Over the last few days, I have done a lot of research.  I've learnt from people in the know and those who do YouTube growth for a living, teaching how to take advantage of the YouTube algorithm (not illegally, of course - organically) so that not only I benefit but many more do too by being notified of, or seeing by recommendation, my videos.  This led me to finding the answers I needed by adhering to the advice, not to mention diving into my analytics data like never before and seeing the truth for myself.

The conclusion of all the above is the content of this article.  I wanted to write it for those already subscribed and those who find this article at a later date to know I made a change and why my channel is like it is.

Here are some facts about my audience/video relationship:  Jazz is the top of the list.  People are most interested in chord types, chord progressions and jazz repertoire videos.  They also want to know how to improvise or play any repertoire freely, not necessarily jazz.  This conclusion is further enforced by thinking about the endless emails and comments I've handled over the last 5-6 years.  Further, the level is beginning to lower-intermediate.  They are interested most in personalised options to play how they want to play and enjoy my Water Pianism philosophy in ways beyond the piano itself.

Here are the things I have discovered I need to change to improve my channel's standing, watch time and video discovery rates: 

Shorter videos.  I know I have long videos sometimes but it's because I don't know where to cut a video into a second or third part.  Often, I press record and go to the end, providing timestamps.  This is brutal for my channel, not because the content is bad (often 100% thumbs-up) but because when those who are recommended the video see the length, they don't even care to open it!  This doesn't mean they wouldn't watch exactly the same video over two or three parts at 12 minutes each, it means they won't watch 45 mins at the same time, or even come back to it.  I'm sacrificing views this way and disappointing subscribers and potential subscribers.  I therefore vow never to post a video longer than 15 minutes from this day forward.  I will post in sections as necessary and plan it beforehand.

More niche content.  A huge error I have been making is putting too much variety on my channel.  I have podcasts on various topics and videos on technical exercises, philosophies, classical piano, jazz improv, sight-reading, internal piano things, ... a huge array which means that for whatever reason someone subscribed following one particular video they watched, the rest of the content doesn't apply to them, or rarely so, causing them never to return or be recommended new videos.  I therefore vow to focus on what works and only what works, knowing that other content can still be found and/or that another channel has the anwer to something else needed; I don't need to worry about what is outside my niche.  That niche will be to use jazz repertoire 80%+ of the time to demonstrate all the points above.  I will not necessarily be teaching the song (but sometimes yes), it means I will use, for example, 'Autumn Leaves' to highlight a good technical exercise or playing style, or 'All the Things You Are' to help with transposition, etc.  This will appease the majority of subscribers who subscribe following jazz content videos enjoyed, while still satisfying those who are interested in philosophies, technical exercises or sight-reading/internal piano stuff.

Uploading more regularly.  Before today, I was always afraid of posting too often for fear of running out of ideas.  Now that I am going to focus on a niche, I can use hundreds of jazz songs I know or can learn very quickly as the skeleton to each video.  Therefore, expect to see almost every video titled: "Using XYZ Song to Teach You Something or Highlight Some Point"... for example:  Using How High the Moon to Master Floating 251s in Jazz Piano / Using Girl From Ipanema to Master Left Hand Accompaniment in Bossa Nova... etc.  I plan to upload at least 4 times/week, sometimes 5.  Requests for repertoire choice or focus point will always be welcome.  And again, no video will be longer than 15 minutes ever again.

There's also a few things I need to do behind the scenes but they don't matter to this article.

So I hope this pleases you and you understand that these changes (read: enhancements) are not only for my financial and channel expansion benefits but also for the literally hundreds of thousands of people who seem to see my videos every month but choose not to click on them, thus losing out on content they would otherwise have enjoyed and perhaps chosen to subscribe because of.

I leave you with the first video I made after writing this article!  Thank you for reading, as well as being a part of the Water Pianism philosophy...