Jay-Z’s YouTube Strategy

If you know me, then it’s no secret that I’m a pretty big Jay-Z fan. I was also born in NJ and followed the Nets for a while. So when Jay-Z bought into the Nets’s ownership and subsequently moved them to Brooklyn (a place I also lived for a time), it was a win win in my eyes. I became “a fan from day one” as they say.

Jay created this short documentary about his preparation for the unveiling of the Barclay’s Center called “Where I’m From” (posted below). Jay-Z is one of the content creators YouTube has enlisted to establish a channel for producing professional grade video. This way the web video giant has a stronger pitch to make in securing more big brand ad dollars. You can get a glimpse of the viewership, content and frequency of Jay-Z’s videos that his media crew are releasing here.

The YouTube initiative was launched at the beginning of 2012 so you can observe the increased frequency of content on Jay-Z’s channel over the last few months. The documentary (below) seems to have garnered the most viewership of any video since the YouTube initiative was established, although “Empire State of Mind” is Jay’s #1 most viewed video on his channel with an impressive 125mm views (is that song really 3 years old already?). Otherwise, it seems the average view count is in the 70k-ish range (approximation). What’s more intriguing is that it seems viewership is decreasing per video over time.

What could explain this? Is Jay’s media team not using an effective content strategy? Or does Jay’s audience only really care about performance footage and music videos? It’s not fair to extrapolate what’s happening on one content producer’s YouTube channel to all the rest but for YouTube’s experiment to work, it would seem there should be a little more handholding and education to avoid trends like this amongst YouTube’s portfolio of selected content partners. So c’mon Jay, back that claim you can ‘make it anywhere’ … YouTube included.

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