It may well be that with its old smartphone enemy, Apple, making a big push for streaming with its Apple Music service, Google has finally taken off the kid gloves. It has made analytics available to many of its biggest artists on YouTube. It gives them the ability to read more in-depth statistics and information about just who is watching their videos and listening to their music.
The system will break down how many visitors they are receiving and how many views their videos are getting. Crucially though, it will give them location data on their fans, targeting official videos and those reclaimed via ContentID after being uploaded by third parties.
The idea, according to Google, is that it will make it possible for artists to schedule tours where they are most popular, thereby maximizing exposure and revenue.
Of course, that's when you start to run into some potential difficulties, because music, as much as it is an enormous money making industry, is also an artistic one. Balancing out making a living without “selling out,” can be difficult and it's something that many artists will need to do when it comes to utilizing YouTube's new tools.
This was felt earlier this year when the video sharing site introduced other features for content creators, under the YouTube for Artists update, which let them promote shows and earn money through the use of YouTube Card annotations that promoted other services.
The repercussions of going overboard with paid-for promotion is something that many popular YouTube channels faced at the tail end of 2014, when it was discovered that the seemingly random “lick challenges,” for Oreo cookies being posted by many content creators were in-fact paid commercials. Many of those channels and indeed Cadbury (Oreo's parent company) got in a spot of bother over this breach in advertizing standards, but fans who felt duped were even less forgiving.
Of course, these sorts of problems aren't confined to video sharing websites. It's something that other organizations and individuals need to consider, especially when it comes to analytics. While analytics can provide amazing insight into how to improve efficiency, the data produced can be cold. It can be hard. While there are many businesses that can undoubtedly benefit from analytically produced reports, interpreting them and making sure that applying the lessons learned do not cut into the soul of the business, is incredibly important.
How does your company handle the application of analytics? Is it best to face the cold, hard facts provided by the data, or does it take a deft hand to implement them without compromising the heart of the enterprise?