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How Isabel Fay got noticed on YouTube

The average YouTube music video gets a few tens of views. Isabel Fay's gets 683,649. How come?

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I hope you have tried uploading music videos to YouTube. No? Then what are you doing to promote your music? Or are you content to let your work molder in a cupboard?

The problem is that we thought the Internet age would allow 'small guy' musicians and bands to flourish and prosper. The reality is that there is so much average-to-bad music about, it is really difficult to get noticed, even if you're good.

I hadn't heard of Isabel Fay, although to be fair she is primarily a comedian rather than a musician. I don't have a professional interest in comedy so there is no particular reason why I should.

But now it seems that everyone, at least in the UK, has heard of Isabel Fay. She has been on the BBC, ITV, and has been mentioned in the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and many other media outlets.

And her video has received 683,649 views on YouTube at the time of writing. That's a lot of views for a comparative unknown. So how did she do it?

But first, take a look at the video. It's a bit NSFW by the way but, considering its purpose, it has to be.

The video is successful because it covers a topic that has been in the news recently. As you know, there is a lot of hate about on the Internet. In the UK, where we don't have constitutional freedom of speech, there have been moves to 'out' haters and trolls and, where necessary, bring them to justice.

And, regardless of legal issues, to upload a video to YouTube and then be subjected to a barrage of pointlessly negative comments is discouraging and upsetting. There is a distinction between criticism, which should always be encouraged, and the kinds of comments posted by haters and trolls.

So Isabel Fay has hit this particular nail very squarely on the head in her video. And rather than let it languish on YouTube attracting even more hate, she has promoted it vigorously to the media outside of the Internet. Media companies need material to cover, and despite the NSFW context, cover it they did.

Another aspect to the promotion of this video is that profits from sales of the song go to an anti-bullying charity. If a media company is considering covering the video, it makes it more difficult for them to say no when a charity is involved.

So in summary, you can write a great song, make an eye-catching video and receive hardly any YouTube views. Or you can cover a topical issue, link with a charity, and gain massive publicity.

Well done Isabel Fay and her collaborators, from Audio Masterclass you get nothing but love.

By David Mellor Tuesday June 26, 2012
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