Channel Deep-Clean & Updates


 Out with the old...

Over the course of a week, for around 6-8 hours each day, I started on a clean-up project to help my YouTube statistics in terms of views, watch time and viewer retention. After studying many videos and articles on this topic, I decided it was time to start doing some cleaning up for my benefit and that of my viewers (subscribers or new).

Looking at the (very, very detailed) analytics that YouTube provides, I wanted to find the most viewed videos to date but only for videos published since the beginning of the channel (June, 2014) until Dec 31, 2020; to see what aged well from that time to now (mid 2022). I was disappointed to see that most of those videos were from 2014-17, when my recording quality (video or audio) were not the best and when people didn't mind watching longer videos, which is much less the case these days. Almost all didn't have timestamps either, since you couldn't add them until around 2018+.

Starting from the least viewed and working up the list, I checked and chose videos which were not worth keeping, mainly to stop YouTube from promoting them, or because they were just awful, or I had made an updated version already, etc. I started making one written list so I could note the deleted ones that I would want to remake in 2022 but as I got higher up the list, I started to realise that some of them were not too bad and were worth pushing again (especially if made from 2018 onwards). Good views, not bad audio/sound and a useful topic - not to mention not too long (sometimes) and with timestamps (sometimes).

This resulted in a new (longer) list which I quickly realised I could make into a new playlist which, after a poll asking for its title, is known as: In Case You Missed It... - it ended up containing 90 videos, recorded pre-Dec 29, 2020 which are good enough to be pushed again so do please, please have a little browse through it. It contains a mix of topics but you can simply choose what is of interest to you. Order the videos by most recently published, for obvious quality reasons.

As I started to add videos to this new playlist, I realised the pinned comment under each video that everyone sees, cards within the videos which direct to other videos... and end-screen videos (always three, plus my online shop) were out of date! They showed old videos or even ones I'd deleted or was to delete as I came to them so this forced me to set up a procedure in which I fixed the new description text to include much more modern links, to promote my Water Pianism Syllabus and online shop, as well as corrected links for social media. I also deleted from this text links to dead or redundant videos or playlists.

What I ended up doing, therefore, was updating every video, which was allowed to stay, in the following way: 

- Fixing the description text by copy/pasting the new text;

- Fixing the end-screen videos to be more up-to-date and promote playlists rather than individual videos;

- Deleting the previous and adding the new pinned comment I'd carefully and thoughtfully composed;

- Sometimes, I shortened a title too.

Of course, I got to the point where I realised that there were a LOT of videos after Dec 31, 2020 and that I'd have to update the description box, pinned comment, in-video cards and end-screen videos of all those, too! So instead of doing it one by one, I did it in sections of customised periods of 4 months for only the most viewed videos first, since I could see they were still being viewed relatively often. Eventually, after a few days, all videos to date were uploaded, including those in the Ten Mins @ the Piano Playlist, the Absolute Major Scale Mastery Playlist and the Short & to the Point Playlist.

I also deleted some redundant playlists and updated the description text of each one to encourage people to order the videos by 'most recently published', so the more modern videos show first.

The result of all this is a much better experience for the visitor because now only better quality videos are seen and any links from them go to modern playlists or newer videos, as well as to my products, blog and Video Management Website. I can now sleep better at night in this knowledge.

I also spent some time studying which themes and topics are most viewed and it is very clearly the following three:

- Chord stuff (jazz, games, philosophical, inversions);

- Novelty ideas (what do I do when I'm bored, using one hand only, how I got to where I am, etc.); 

- Jazz, Blues and Ragtime techniques.

However, the lowest-performing videos, surprisingly and disappointingly, and this is undeniable data across the whole lifetime of the channel, are:

- Performance-only videos (diabolical viewership);

- Jazz repertoire tutorials (nobody wants to learn new pieces, it seems);

- Compositions (mine or doing your own);

- General piano theory (dynamics, pedal control, rhythm help);

- Classical piano (Liszt/Chopin) tutorials;

- Podcast-based videos.

There are a few exceptions but this is the general consensus so, going forward, expect a lot more videos with chord and jazz content (but not necessarily repertoire tutorials, although I may use part of or all a song to demonstrate an idea but I won't make the video about learning the particular song), as well as some miscellaneous, novelty stuff such as challenges, more personal stuff about my journey and favourite things, along with anything which seems 'quirky' or unique and interesting to catch your attention.

I will, however, always react to subscriber requests if I think I can make them into my style and if they will or can be made to benefit a slightly wider audience than just the requestee!

To close, I'd like to push my Water Pianism Syllabus and my Water Pianism Podcast Collection which is only £15 for 12 hours of content over 30 episodes! Patreon support is also most appreciated to make up for the humiliating YouTube income (which I am trying to remedy by doing stuff like what I've just written about).

Thank you for your ongoing support in my efforts. I hope you'll enjoy all future content I put out!