YouTube Promotion

My Drooble YouTube Promotion Results

Your new music video cost $2000 to make. One week after its YouTube premiere, it has 134 views.

What to do?

You could share the link on your socials for the seventh time, at the risk of annoying your friends and family. But even if they click through, the lack of social proof is unconvincing. Why should they bother watching when no one else will?

You could Google “YouTube promotion” and wade through the morass of bot-powered scams that promise traffic from real people (who coincidentally all happen to be located in India and Colombia).

No, you want to promote your video the *right* way, the way the major labels do it: Google Ads.

There’s only one problem. You thought Facebook Ads Manager was complicated? Wait until you try Google Ads!

I’ve been messing with it for years now, and have made some costly mistakes. I’ve spent hours on the phone with support agents who couldn’t explain how targeting works, or why my ads weren’t showing because my targeting selections were cancelling each other out. I’ve watched more than my fair share of 45-minute tutorial videos on YouTube that don’t quite apply to what I’m trying to accomplish as a musician.

Fortunately there’s a shortcut: Drooble YouTube Promotion. They’ll promote your video safely and effectively using Google Ads, and email you a no-nonsense summary of the results you care about.

You may be wondering, do I need to give them my Google login details? Nope!

For better or worse, you can promote any video you want from any Google Ads account. I just created an ad for a friend’s video to test it out.

So theoretically, one could throw money at their preferred presidential candidate’s videos! What could go wrong?

YouTube Promotion Order Process

Setting up your campaign is quick and painless. First, copy/paste the URL of your video:

Drooble step 1

I chose the catchiest song from my latest release, a synthwave concept album about superstitions, inspired by early Cure records.

It’s got a great thumbnail — thank you Canva — but beyond that, it isn’t an optimal choice. Here’s why:

Drooble YouTube Promotion uses the skippable in-stream ads format. Ads play before, during, or after other videos. The viewer can skip it after the first 5 seconds, and the advertiser is only charged if they interact with the ad or stick around for more than 30 seconds.

Ideally you want a video that:

  1. Starts right away (mine fades in)
  2. Does something to catch the viewer’s attention (as opposed to my static cover art)
  3. Lets the viewer know who and what they’re watching (they’re expecting an ad, not a song)

But hey, you go with what you got. And so I did.

Drooble step 2

Next up, you name a few similar artists and choose what locations to target. Simple enough.

Drooble step 3

Finally, you select a package. Add two zeros to the dollar amount, and that’s about how many views you can expect.

Drooble gave me a promo code to test out the $25 package, and I was off to the races!

My YouTube Promotion Results

A week and a half later, I received an email with my results:

Views Before Campaign: 26,066
Views After Campaign: 29,238
Likes Before Campaign: 274
Likes After Campaign: 285
Subscribers Before Campaign: 10.5K
Subscribers After Campaign: 10.7K

My initial thought was, wait… that’s it? I asked if they had a control panel or something that I could log into, so I could see all the data.

It turns out they don’t, since they’re running the ads manually. Eventually they hope to automate the process, but there’s no telling when that might be. It all depends on what Google does with their API.

According to Drooble, most people are happy with the level of detail they provide. Artists typically use the service to launch a new video, so the results are rather obvious.

At my request, they provided me the start and end dates of my campaign, plus a few key data points:

Impressions: 4,412 / Views: 3,011 / View rate: 68.25%.

Less than a penny per view! Contrast that with my last skippable in-stream ads experiment:

Impressions: 4,474 / Views: 1,533 / View rate: 34.26%

I paid $62 for 1533 views with my own targeting ($0.04 CPV), versus $25 for 3011 views through Drooble ($0.01 CPV).

Google In-Stream results

Of course I can dig deeper into the data, and verify my results, through YouTube Studio:

YouTube Analytics

3157 views, 95.8% of which came from YouTube advertising = 3024 views vs. 3011 reported. Check.

30.9% of ad viewers made it through the entire song and/or were taking a bathroom break.

The views did indeed come from the three countries I selected. I’m guessing the algorithm favored the UK because view duration was slightly higher, or the cost per impression was lower, or both.

The like count checks out, but as you may have noticed in the screenshot above, the campaign only garnered two new subscribers. I’m not convinced that in-stream ads are the best way to grow a channel.

If there’s any other data from YouTube Studio you’d like me to share, let me know in the comments!

My Drooble YouTube Promotion Conclusions

It should come as no surprise that I highly recommend Drooble YouTube Promotion.

If you’d like to give it a shot, you can save 10% and support the site by using discount code COLORTHEORY here.

That said, it’s not the be-all and end-all of YouTube promotion. To maximize your growth on the platform, you’ll need to hunker down and learn the ads interface, and experiment with different ad formats and targeting.

But to jumpstart a video launch, or to give all your videos a sprinkle of social proof, Drooble YouTube Promotion is the most cost-effective option that I know of.

Have you tried Drooble YouTube Promotion, or any other YouTube promotion service? Share your results in the comments!

50 Comments

  1. I must say… that might be worth a try. Good experiment, Brian. I’ll report back. One quick question… can you tell whether there’s bot activity in the numbers? Just curious.

    1. Those numbers are reported by Google Ads and by YouTube Studio. Unless there’s some hole in my reasoning, which is possible considering how scatterbrained I’ve been in light of current events, Google shouldn’t be utilizing bot traffic on its own platform.

  2. Two questions:

    1) Are they using in-stream ads (the ones that play automatically before you watch a video and can be skipped after 5 seconds) or discovery ads (the ones that you get recommended on the right column or at the search results)?

    2) Have you noticed the average watch time of their campaign? If so can you share the %watch time with us?

    Thanks 🙂

  3. Damn just noticed that there is a screenshot for my question. Im sorry didnt notice this particular one.

    1. Not a problem! Those are good questions.

      To recap for those scrolling the comments, they are in-stream ads. 30.9% of viewers made it through the entire video. Average watch time was 2:58 for a 4:36 song.

  4. On your recommendation I used them. $100 ad.
    Results:
    Views Before Campaign: 7,957
    Views After Campaign: 13,072
    Likes Before Campaign: 264
    Likes After Campaign: 275
    Subscribers Before Campaign: 7.16K
    Subscribers After Campaign: 7.57К

    Views – seems good but not sure how valuable those views are.
    Likes – only 11 likes. This is probably the most telling indicator that the campaign was mediocre, or… they didn’t like my video or song LOL
    Subscribers – huge bump, but this is more likely to be a result of a shoutout I was given by a huge artist on Youtube over the last week.

    The overall experience is just as opaque as it wouldve been doing it myself, but it was a much easier experience using Drooble

    1. This is great Martin! Thanks so much for sharing your results.

      It’s interesting that the view count doesn’t quite scale with budget. I suspect that’s because a higher budget allows for higher max CPV bidding, allowing you to reach a more expensive audience.

      That was quite a shoutout! I agree that there’s no way you got that many subscribers from in-stream ads.

      I suspect the ad format explains the dearth of likes as well. Viewers are too chill and/or lazy to bother skipping the ad, much less interact.

    2. Do they not provide any kind of data transparency via the API that breaks down the exact cost data by country, engagement, etc.? You should be getting all kinds of information from the API of the ads account running these campaigns.

      Also, the like ratio is about 80% lower than what typical YouTube like ratios should be via ads as well.

      The CPV is about 20x higher than the floor prices atm (covid) within tier 2 country clusters, though with only tier 1, 2 cents CPV is probably about right. I would prefer they mix 50/50 though so you would have gotten substantially more volume for the same price while maintaining targeting to the genre/large fan bases.

      1. I was expecting more detail as well. In fact, I didn’t think the campaign was over at first until I followed up to ask if I was going to get some kind of “official” report. They’re working on it, but at the same time, they mentioned that the level of detail provided was sufficient for most artists – that maybe the simplicity was a feature, not a bug.

        Honestly, I’m surprised to get any likes from an in-stream ad. And good call on the 50/50 mix, though I guess that was my fault since I selected the countries.

  5. Quick question – if the Drooble ads are only using skippable in-stream ads format, how are they getting likes and subscribers as that seems to be the difficulty with skippable in-stream ads, viewers can’t comment or like unless they click through to the video page, which viewers almost never do because there is no need for it as they can watch the video in-stream, what do you reckon?

    1. That’s exactly right! Viewers have to go out of their way to interact with your content, and therefore, few do.

      Still, if someone really likes your song, and the artist name is obvious, they may look you up on Spotify or search for you later.

      Or you can get really ninja with it and use Google Ads to retarget those viewers later in a different format.

  6. We did the $50 promotion, got a bit over 4,000 views, maybe 20 likes, a couple of nice comments… it was fine, really. No complaints. I would do this again – probably ramp it up to $100 and do it in conjunction with a “proper” release (this video/song dropped months ago). It’s not gonna change the world, but… not bad, really.

  7. Doing Drooble YouTube promotion right now (after reading your article!) and so far have hundreds of views and no new likes or subscribers. It is very easy to get discouraged with advertising music because the first question I find myself asking is “Why don’t people like my content…?” However it helps to remember that I personally watch tons of YouTube content and never click “Like” and rarely subscribe just because I guess I don’t…and I love a lot of the stuff that I watch on YouTube. Furthermore I’ve noticed that bands with four hundred thousand views will have only 4,000 likes which is almost like one like for every thousand or something…but you know I’m terrible at math so please feel free to correct me. Anyway my point is that maybe I should not get discouraged!!

    1. Definitely not! Keep in mind none of these people volunteered to hear your music. There are lots of potential reasons they made it through the video, from distraction to laziness to genuine interest. In any case, they’re in “lean back” mode!

  8. One thing I’ve noticed with my Drooble promotion is that almost 90% of the views come from either India (46.6%) or Mexico (35.7%) which is strange because I did not target those countries at all. I targeted Europe, Canada, Japan and the US. 10% is from the US. I have about 700 views so far. Any thoughts?

  9. Great article once again Brian! Quick question… would you recommend the service for someone who is on the train of making “Type Beat” videos to gain traction and lead artists to their best website. I’m in a little tango of two worlds wondering what to experiment with first, my solo music or production tracks I’m pitching out.

    1. Because of the lean-back nature of in-stream ads, I don’t think they’re ideal for a traffic campaign. I see them used more for brand awareness. Well, I suppose if your video is a genuine ad with a strong hook in the first five seconds, it could work! But ultimately you’re going to want to have more control over your campaigns if you’re in it for the long haul.

  10. I wrote them and they just got back to me and it was exactly what you said…someone accidentally put in the targeting information for another campaign in mine. So they have fixed it and increased my budget. Really glad they got back to me. I was feeling really crappy about the whole thing and now I feel much better. I will let you know how it all comes out.

  11. I registered at Drooble a week ago and just saw this post of yours. I was about to try the YT service but stopped at: “Who do you sound like”? Hummmm, i don’t have the slight idea hahahahahahaha
    I contacted support, we’ll see what they come up with lol!

  12. My promotion ended and I got about 3,700 views…a huge amount of them from India and Mexico (lolololol). After they fixed the campaign the most views came from Germany and my audience was very much male. I got about 150 watch hours but absolutely nil engagement…no likes or subscribes. I’m pretty sure the video does not resonate with people and I think that what Indeprenuer says is totally true…that the live performance videos work far far far better. My video I think is just too arty and I think most people are probably like??? So I don’t know that it was even worth making but I guess I got a lot of good practice editing. I spent an obnoxious amount of time on the fershlugginer thing and I guess it’s a learning experience certainly. Overall I’d agree that Drooble YouTube promotion works very well but in future I will not invest much time in making these types of videos.

    1. The Fan Finder Method is certainly a better approach to building an audience! Sorry to hear you didn’t get better engagement. Maybe it’s at least worth testing future videos on Facebook first where you can get some feedback and guidance.

  13. I’ve tried it last year and they just ran random bots on my video, no comments, no interactions, nothing, just 4,000 views of people all from the very same country and random likes… a waste of money. Brian, if you support Drooble you’re supporting a SCAM company, by the way. You’re also recommending John Gold Spotify course which I purchased and it’s complete bullshit and was only built to force you use Hypeddit, John has no idea what he talks about… Luckily it was only 37 bucks but it’s pathetic. I thought you were one of the the “good guys” in the music promotion world, now I’m having serious doubts.

    1. Those are some bold, unsubstantiated claims Axel.

      Drooble uses Google Ads. It’s 100% legit. If bots are involved, and I’m confident they’re not, it’s Google’s fault. All plays should be from whatever countries you selected. I get similar results running my own campaigns direct on the platform, and would certainly get identical results if I matched Drooble’s targeting. As for the lack of interaction, I explained the limitations of the in-stream format in the article.

      I haven’t worked through Spotify Growth Engine yet, because a lot of it is redundant after working through two of John’s other courses: Hypeddit Academy and Fans on Demand. I did talk with him about the differences and the two high-level strategies outlined, and took a short tour of the content.

      If you’re unhappy with the course, I’m sure there’s a money-back guarantee so you can get your $37 back. Of course John uses Hypeddit – would you really expect otherwise? It’s the best tool for the job, and at $9 a month, it costs a tiny fraction of what you’ll spend on ads.

  14. Just bought one now with your code. Thanks for it. I have a music video for the song so let’s see how that goes.

    1. Let us know! As I’ve mentioned before, I wouldn’t expect much in the way of comments and likes. I think your best bet is to use the view count as a springboard to wider promotion.

    2. Here are my results for the $25. Like you said it’s just view counts.

      Views Before Campaign: 386
      Views After Campaign: 2694
      Likes Before Campaign: 28
      Likes After Campaign: 31
      Subscribers Before Campaign: 28
      Subscribers After Campaign: 30

      No new comments, and likes and subscribers came from a few people I know so they didn’t come from the campaign. I guess it just ads some social proof for someone who comes and sees that there’s a bit more views to the video.

      1. Thanks for sharing this Simon!

        Yep, looks about right. I’ve found these types of campaigns work really well for me now that I’ve got a reasonably engaged following on YouTube. I’m usually able to get some likes and comments organically, so a boost in views doesn’t look so suspicious!

  15. I’m giving it a try and it seems to be going reasonably well, but I’m seeing a fair amount of negative stuff about Drooble elsewhere online. Do you still recommend them, or has your opinion changed more recently?

    Also, I’m curious to know whether you’ve used any other Drooble services… for instance the “new album release campaign.” I wonder if that’s really worth the trouble…

    1. I haven’t messed around with Drooble lately, but I haven’t seen anything negative! The only other service I’ve used is Reviews, which I wrote about here.

      Let’s take a look… wow, it’s a whole marketplace now! There’s an option to add my own listing to the store. So maybe it’s hard to tell what’s an “official” service versus a user-added one.

  16. Hi Brian,

    I’m running YouTube Ads myself for my band’s latest video. I’m not sure that my results beat Drooble’s, but my Ads are definitively running, and at the very least it’s interesting to be in control oneself!

    I wonder what went wrong when you tried setting your campaigns. Let’s see…after playing around a bit, I made it work with these key elements: 

    – Bidding strategy: CPM, which I set at 4.44 US$. Total Budget 33 US$ per week.

    – Targeting: several countries of interest (EU, USA, few others), and then I targeted my audience only by specifying placements (about 300 of them, but carefully selected and optimized as the campaign ran). I didn’t touch anything else, I think.   

    – I re-uploaded the video as unlisted to my account. I chopped away the first few seconds (the song starts with a 5-second fade in), and used that as an ad, which begins just before the song really starts. The ad redirects to the full video with a CTA button (this is why a direct comparison with Drooble results is not so obvious, I’m paying attention to the clicks). 

    Last week I had CTR oscillating between 4-5% which appears to be in the average range. This meant 500 clicks in one week. But the interesting thing is that there was a boost in the organic reach (likes, views and subscribers unaccounted for by Google Ad stats, I also corroborated in the traffic source), which suggests these clicks were high quality. Also a bunch of very nice comments   

    I think that telling Google Ads exactly in which videos you want your ads to appear is quite powerful, more effective than using keywords or broad audiences (like “indie” or “metal”) and it gives very valuable information about your audience! 😮

    I think I haven’t missed anything relevant, we can exchange more information by e-mail (I kindly ask you to be patient, as I tend to take some time to answer).

    Cheers!

    1. This is fantastic Paul! I’m grateful for the deep dive.

      I’m tempted to try your setup, and I’m sure others will also appreciate your guidance.

      I’ve been using Discovery ads, but you’ve given me hope that an in-stream campaign could work. My problem is I don’t have a “real” video that would hold up as an ad.

      It’s apples and oranges, but my current view rate is 2.4%, and I also get a decent amount of earned views, subscribers, and likes.

      I’m using keywords and retargeting, but I suppose highly selected placements might perform even better if I had the time and inclination.

      This is basically the polar opposite of Drooble’s set-it-and-forget-it approach, and it makes a lot of sense as part of a broader campaign.

      1. Hi again Brian and Mark, I’m glad you found my comments interesting.

        In response to Brian’s comment, doing the placements thing is not as time-consuming as you’d think. You simply have to make a list of related artists, enter them in the search bar in the corresponding section and start adding compulsively the videos with more views. I’ve selected placements with more than 100k views, which are more likely to generate impressions.  Then, when the campaign is running, you can order the videos by decreasing CTR and remove the ones which are underperforming. Usually, I’m taking a CTR below 3% as bad, especially after 100+ impressions. You have to return and check from time to time but it’s not demanding to do.

        Also, I’m using a different upload for the ad because I read somewhere that this is better for the SEO ranking of the video. Namely, you only get views from interested people, hence you’ll get a higher like-to-view ratio and all that stuff.

        I haven’t tried anything related to retargeting in Google Ads yet (that looks difficult), but I’m sure I will later on. I explored Discovery ads a bit but I’m uncertain about a few things with it so I haven’t used them.

        On the other hand, I kept trying CPV bidding and keyword targeting just in case. Keywords don’t seem to work for me, not even the very specific ones. Honestly I still don’t understand the difference between CPV and CPM yet and can’t draw any strong conclusions from my result.

        1. This is super helpful Paul! I need to give it a shot. The fact that you’re getting CTRs above 3% is enticing!

          Retargeting has been working well for me. If memory serves, about half my views come from retargeting, half from keywords.

          CPV is cost per view, CPM is cost per mille (1000 impressions). I set a max CPV and vary it depending on what I’m promoting.

        2. I dont know, you must have lucked onto the right settings for Google Ads. I’ve been painstakingly following advise and tweaking my campaign, but I still get nothing in the way of hits from Google Ads of my Youtube videos. Zero. I must be doing something wrong or living at the bottom of the advert pile, but cant figure out what is up with that.

          Though it is not as bad as my Facebook Spotify ads experience, which just get people clicking on my ad, and then not going past my linktree connection out to Spotify. Again Zero traction to Spotify. Yet I had 800 clicks before I paused it, not a single one went beyond linktree.html but then why on earth would they bother clicking a CTA saying “Listen Now” if they were then going to stop after that. I wonder if its bots at this point. I was tracking the progress on Google Tag Manager and GA4 and Spotify.

          It’s been nothing but utter frustration since I started with Google Ads and Facebook. I finally see what people are complaining about. God knows how you managed to get it working so well. Good on you! I’m taking a break from it.

        3. Mark, is it possible we’re talking about two different things?

          I believe the 3% clickthrough ratio Mark cites is for people seeing his Discovery ad within YouTube, in search and in the right column on desktop. In other words, 3% of people who see his thumbnail and description on YouTube click through to watch the video, again on YouTube.

          It almost sounds like you’re talking about traditional Google Search Ads, trying to get people to click over from their Google search results to watch your video on YouTube.

          As for your Spotify experience, if you set up a conversions objective and optimize for clicks through to Spotify from your Smart Link, you should see better results over time. I’m guessing those 800 clicks were mostly accidental, or there’s something confusing about your ad. Maybe you could share more about it as a comment on my most recent Facebook Ads post.

  17. Hi Brian thanks for your input

    Pretty sure its the same one I am doing. It’s possible there is something different in Australia, as I noticed I am not able to promote YT directly from the YT in-video “Promote” link. But, If I go to Youtube Ads (https://www.youtube.com/intl/en/ads/ ) and try to run an advert, it takes me to Google Ads to set it up, it literally gives me a message that says “You’ll create your video ad with Google Ads “.

    I am then running Discovery Ads using Youtube Ads as the click through ad, so it plays my Youtube video and if you click on it, it takes you to the video itself. I have been playing around with options but as I said still not achieved a view/impression/click despite it showing status “eligible” and the green spot is green to suggest it is live. The advert tells me where it will be placed, “YouTube search results, YouTube videos, Video partners on the Display Network”. Maybe it is the “campaign objective” I need to look at next as mine is not set.

    I started with CPV $0.15, also started with Audience criteria set, but have since removed that and gone with Placements as per Pauls suggestion and selected about 300 that are relevant. I’d concluded that maybe it needs to be an in-stream ad, but if you are saying it is Discovery Ads then maybe there is something else I am setting incorrectly, but not sure what. I’ll have look and see what else I can adjust when I get time.

    I’ll take the Facebook Ad question over to your other post, no prob.

    1. Sounds like we’re talking about the same thing then! One thing for sure: turn off Display Network!

      Maybe I’m misunderstanding or just wrong, but Discovery ads don’t play your video. They show the thumbnail and your headline in search results and in the right sidebar when people watch other videos. They need to click on it to watch your video.

      You should see a View Rate and a Cost Per View on your dashboard. Currently my view rate for all ads is 5% and my cost per view is $0.01. I set different Max Cost Per View for different keywords and videos, but most of my views are coming from retargeting, with a max CPV of $0.04.

      Seems you’re doing something wrong, but I couldn’t tell you what that is.

      This is why I haven’t written an article about creating your own YouTube ad campaign. It’s a mess! The interface is incredibly confusing and I still don’t feel like I fully grasp it.

      Maybe check out this video? I’ve watched a few of his videos, but it’s been a year or two.

      1. Thanks for that Brian!! that video was excellent and inspired me to get back on it.
        I have rebuilt the ad and will see how it goes.

        Other than the overall approach he takes, the two things I noticed that I did differently were…

        1. On the second step setting up a campaign he chooses “Video” while I chose “Discovery” – not sure it would make a difference but will find out.

        2. Inventory Type: He said to choose “Expanded Inventory”, I just went with Standard.

        obvs quite a few other things I did differently, but those stood out, looking forward to seeing how this go pans out. He also sets price a lot cheaper so happy about that!

        One other thing I noticed is that the CTA info is a bit confusing, and I had no idea about “Cards” on YT until I looked in his comments where someone else had asked to clarify the CTA stuff.

        But yea, this is much more promising and I feel I understand it a lot better after that, so thanks for the share, it really helped me revisit it and get my head around it. I’ll keep my expectations low, but his setup feels better all round.

        1. That’s great news! I’ll need to watch that video. John at Hypeddit also has a new YouTube training that I’ll be checking out soon, and reviewing it here if it’s any good, which I’m betting it will be!

          I always go with “Expanded Inventory” but I doubt it makes a huge difference in cost per view. I used to use cards but not much came of it, so these days I don’t bother. I do configure end screens though.

          Keep us posted!

  18. working, woohoo! It just took a while to get going but his approach has definitely fixed the issue I was having. I am now getting impressions, views and clicks. (though not much getting past the advert but I will put that down to my content and test some other approaches moving forward).

    One other big takeaways for anyone else running into this same issue:

    If you use Placements, target YT Channels not YT Videos when selecting because the “channel” placements follow the audience of the channel, not the channel videos. While with the “video” placements, your ads will only show up next to those videos.

    Thanks again Brian, your info really helped buddy!

    1. Yay!

      That’s great advice Mark, and I totally didn’t know that. I can’t remember if I targeted channels or individual videos, but I’ve got dozens of variables to test if I ever find the time and inclination.

  19. I submitted a song by my band for this. The video went from 34 views to a little over 1,400 thus far. That will look great to people who come across it by chance and what not. What won’t look great is that there are only 3 likes of which I think 2 were already there and maybe all three. No new comments. The stats say I got one new subscriber which means I lost two before the campaign because I’m at 49 and was at 50 before. I already filled out Drooble’s survey saying basically what I said here. I doubt I will do this again for my band’s other video or the one I am planning out now. Also, I had a link to our Spotify page listed in the video description and as far as I can tell we didn’t get any extra streams and if we did it was literally a few. IMO if something doesn’t produce tangible results then it’s just an ego stroke by having an increase in view numbers.

    P.S. One positive is that according the average time that the viewers stayed on the video they watch around 2/3 of the song.

    1. Thanks for sharing your stats Rory! I agree with your assessment, and wouldn’t expect this sort of campaign to generate new subscribers or Spotify streams. Maybe a few brave souls will look you up but this sort of campaign mostly falls under the “brand awareness” umbrella.

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