YouTube, as a platform, is now more than just a place to share funny cat videos. With ever-growing niches and trends, it seems as though everybody can find something to watch when they log on to YouTube.
For the average viewer, a YouTube session usually starts with the urge to be entertained. They log on to the platform – usually via mobile devices, and hit the search bar. There, they will enter a keyword to try and find videos about it. Here’s where it gets interesting: most viewers will opt to click on a playlist, rather than an individual video.
For your viewers, playlists are an easy solution for continuous videos. They don’t have to individually search and pick videos on their own every time one video ends. The playlist’s “autoplay” feature allows them to move from one video to the next, seamlessly.
For creators, playlists are much more than a mere convenient feature. As creators, you can use playlists as a powerful tool to keep your videos circulating and exposed to potential viewers. Organizing your content in topic-based categories can also make life much easier for your existing fanbase if they want to find a specific video of yours to watch.
Everything You Need To Know About Playlists
What Are They?
Playlists are quite self-explanatory. Simply put, a playlist is a collection of videos, curated by a certain user on YouTube’s platform. Each playlist is individual and unique, just like each person on this planet is individual and unique. Playlists can have as many videos as you want them to have.
Who Creates Playlists?
Everyone. Whether you’re a “viewer” on the platform or a creator – everybody with a YouTube account is able to create their own playlists. All you have to do is find a video you really like, add it to a playlist so you could watch it over and over again (along with other favourite videos), and enjoy infinitely.
Who “Plays” Them?
That depends on you, the curator. YouTube allows users to create three types of playlists:
- Public Playlists – accessible to anyone and everyone on the platform.
- Private Playlists – accessible to you, only.
- Unlisted Playlists – accessible to you and anyone you shared the playlist’s link with.
Why Are Playlists So Important For Creators?
They Increase Watch Time.
We do it almost absent-minded, but the logic behind this action is ridiculously simple. People choose playlists over individual videos because they can’t be bothered to search for other, similar videos every time one of them ends. Therefore, if people are watching a video that’s a part of a playlist, they’re very likely to watch the next one on that list.
Imagine you’re having a YouTube session, right now. You logged on to have some music playing in the background while you work, or clean your house, or do other chores and tasks. You searched for your favourite artist, found a “Greatest Hits” playlist and hit “play”. It’s so much easier to pick a playlist and let it roll. If you don’t like a video on the playlist, you just hit “Next”.
The Algorithm Uses Them, Too.
No one knows how YouTube’s algorithm works for sure, especially with the developers constantly updating it. However, one thing is consistent: if you create a video and put it in a playlist, YouTube is going to use it for reference and recommend other videos from the playlist to the viewer.
Let’s say you’re looking for one of TuBeast’s videos. You have just one specific video you’re looking for, and once you find it, you’re a happy camper! But if you’ll look at the bar off to the side, you’ll notice even more TuBeast videos appear on it in the very first slots.
It Creates A Snowball Effect – Algorithmically
Similar to the way YouTube’s algorithm uses your videos for recommendation references, putting your videos in playlists will also create a huge snowball effect. When a lot of users sit and watch your video playlists, it signals to the algorithm that this specific channel is producing compelling, highly engaging content. This signal helps your videos “appear” on the algorithm’s radar when it comes to content suggestions. Consequentially, the algorithm will favour your content over someone else’s and expose you to more and more potential viewers.
How To Create A Playlist – Step By Step
Step 1 – Go to your YouTube Creators Studio.
Step 2 – Click on the “Videos” (or “Content”) tab
Step 3 – Mark the checkboxes next to the videos you’d like to add to your playlist
Step 4 – Select “add to playlist”
Step 5 – Choose an existing playlist or create a new one by clicking on “new playlist”
Step 6 – If you choose to create a new playlist – give it a title and make sure the visibility is set to “public”
Playlist Dos and Don’ts
Do: Organize your videos into topic-based playlists.
Don’t: Create one massive playlist for every video you’ve ever uploaded.
Do: Give your playlists great titles. The titles are super important, and you should try to use a “focus” keyword while naming a playlist. For example, if you have a collection of game “walk-through”s, use the keywords “game walk-through” in the playlist title.
Don’t: Attempt at being “smart” and “ironic” with your playlist titles.
Do: Regularly maintain and update your playlist, adding in new videos and taking out older, irrelevant videos.
Don’t: Create your playlist and never touch it, ever again.
Do: Make your playlists, as well as the content in them, public and accessible to anyone.
Don’t: Create “Unlisted” or “Private” playlists because people will never find those. Also, make sure you don’t have any “Private” or “Unlisted” videos in the playlist. There’s nothing that grinds peoples’ gears more than playing a playlist and having it cut off because a video is set to “Private”.