YouTube recently announced a feature called Music Insights that offers artists a dashboard featuring their most popular videos — and the geographic location of those viewers. In fact, this dashboard is public (available here) and is quite fascinating. See above for Major Lazer's stats.
On a random digression on this end of week Friday: So what would happen if Google offered something similar to travel brands?
That sort of information is vital not just for musicians but also for travel brands, who often must understand where their best audiences lie in order to target spend. And it might not always be immediately apparent during marketing efforts given the multi-platform, distributed nature of most of this data.
The service could provide a fascinating new way to determine where to devote spend for travel brands. Of course, there's plenty of demographic information available for targeting within advertising systems. This then allows brands to see what types of users are actually clicking on the ads. However, a basic dashboard that surfaces who is already consuming organic content is a different approach than only looking at the demographics of paid advertising engagements.
YouTube does offer brands more insight into where views are coming from, so perhaps Music Insights is just another skin for data that's already available. But providing a dashboard for travel brands to view that aggregates organic (and paid interactions on across Google properties) could deliver some seriously juicy data about what kind of viewers are engaging and interested in a specific destination.
I realize that much of this data does exist in various forms; it's still an interesting move for YouTube to surface this for artists, one segment of its publisher network. The initiative points to a new way to consider how the platform might monetize its wares. YouTube is also considering adding an API that would allow artists — and certainly savvy developers — to access this information and create new services or enhance existing products.
In other YouTube news, another new feature that could be useful for destination marketers on YouTube is Info Cards; these overlay over a video to share further information relating specifically to the video's content — for example, a special deal on a particular place being featured.