How top artists use YouTube Shorts to promote their music

Image Credit: YouTube

GRAMMY Award-winning pop singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and YouTube Shorts show us a masterclass in social media marketing.

With his fourth solo album due to be released tomorrow, Ed Sheeran gives us a sneak peek at all 14 songs with 14 YouTube Shorts. You can find all YouTube Shorts in this playlist. No matter whether you’re a total “Sheerio” (I didn’t just make that up) or not a fan, music artists take note of Sheeran’s marketing tactics.

The YouTube Shorts see Ed step into an ice bath in Shivers,” have a solo dance party in Be Right Now,” take an outdoor shower in Stop the Rain,” play a mini ukulele in Sandman,” and hang out with his family at home in First Times.”

Ed Sheeran has had a huge presence on YouTube since his first video upload in 2006, since becoming one of the top 10 most-subscribed-to artists on YouTube. Four of his videos are in the Billion View Club: “Thinking Out Loud,” “Perfect,” “Photograph,” and “Shape of You,” which is the second most-viewed music video on YouTube, and the second fastest to reach a billion views.

Ed Sheeran is already off to a record breaking start with his new single. This year alone, his music has charted in over 45 markets on the platform and earned over 3.9 billion views globally in the last 12 month. Sheeran’s first two single from the album “Bad Habits and Shivers” have spent 12 consecutive weeks at number one on the Official UK Singles Chart. Ed Sheeran is the first British Solo Artist to claim 52 weeks at number one on the Official UK Singles Chart. Only Elvis Presley and The Beatles have achieved more overall weeks at the top.

These are some impressive numbers, but what do they mean to me as an artist trying to break into the mainstream? While Ed Sheeran partnering with YouTube Shorts no doubt came with a free marketing campaign, there’s no reason why you can’t implement a similar method with previews across socials for your next album release to get fans excited about your upcoming music. “#SheeranShorts” not only promotes the upcoming songs, but also encourages fans to join along and create their own short videos. Remember if you use RouteNote to get your music on to YouTube Shorts for free, every time your music is used in a video, you’ll earn revenue.

Watch and listen to all of the previews below:

  1. Tides
  2. Shivers
  3. First Times
  4. Bad Habits
  5. Overpass Graffiti
  6. The Joker and the Queen
  7. Leave Your Life
  8. Collide
  9. 2step
  10. Stop the Rain
  11. Love in Slow Motion
  12. Visiting Hours
  13. Sandman
  14. Be Right Now

I had a really fun day shooting my YouTube Shorts. I’ve always really enjoyed the music video process, so it was fun to explore a new way of doing that by channeling each song’s theme in a unique way, while also giving you a sneak peek of the album!

Ed Sheeran

From day one, I knew Ed and his music would have a lasting, global impact and that remains true today. Ed Sheeran is a storyteller and I am so stoked he is using YouTube Shorts to give his fans an audio and visual preview of his incredibly powerful new album. This is going to be an unforgettable moment.

Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music, YouTube

We are thrilled to see Ed’s collaboration with YouTube come to fruition and to build on Ed’s long-standing relationship with the platform. The extended Shorts series not only provides us with an innovative way to preview the breadth of the new album sonically, but the short, bespoke films help showcase the narrative of each song in a fun and authentic way. We’re excited to see it ignite his fanbase on a global scale.

Ed’s a master at everything he does – whether it’s in the studio, on stage, or in the amazing series of videos he’s made over the past decade. He’s a charismatic storyteller, and YouTube Shorts is a great platform for him to give the world a sneak listen to his brilliant new album.

Julie Greenwald, Chairman and COO, Atlantic Records

For more on what YouTube have learned after a year of YouTube Shorts, click here.

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