YouTube is constantly rolling out new features (and changing old ones). While some fundamental basics will likely stick around, like great descriptions and suitable music, other features do change and it is in your best interest to experiment with them for maximum impact. After all, YouTube put them there for a reason.
As of this writing, YouTube is “initially launching this feature to a small group of creators,” but they “will be rolling out more broadly soon.” And it’s pretty easy to check if the feature has been enabled on your account when you upload a new video. So, what are YouTube Premieres?
A Public Scheduled Video
When you start the process of uploading a new video to YouTube, you are generally provided with the same four options: public, private, unlisted, or scheduled. Just as it’s a useful tool to schedule your blog posts and social media updates, the same is true with your YouTube videos. My vlog, for example, goes up every Monday morning, but I usually upload the video at least the night before.
With YouTube Premieres, you get an additional sub-option. If you select Scheduled from your list of choices, you will see a toggle switch for Premiere. Enable that option and, in effect, your scheduled video goes public… sort of.
What ends up happening is a public watch page is created. Your title and description will appear as normal, but the video itself cannot be watched until your scheduled time. Instead, they’ll just see your thumbnail.
Go Ahead and Promote It
Because the created watch page is public, you can (and should) go ahead and start promoting it across your usual social media channels. Post about it (and link to it) on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, for example, as well as through your blog or email newsletter.
This can help to build up hype for the upcoming premiere. Something that is very much worth noting is that visitors to the watch page won’t just be shown a static landing page. They can start chatting and commenting even before the video goes live. As the video creator, it’s a good idea for you to hop in there and engage with your audience pre-show too.
Live Chat and Super Chat
Before the scheduled time arrives for your video premiere, subscribers who opt in will get notified that the premiere is about to start and that they should go to your watch page. They can continue with the live chat.
When the time arrives, the video will start playing automatically. Everyone can participate in the live chat, including super chat options if you have that enabled on your YouTube account. Everyone will be watching the video at the same time, just like at an official screening at a film festival. It makes for a much more communal experience.
Your monetization options are essentially the same as a regular upload, except there are no ad breaks.
The URL Stays the Same
Realistically, you don’t have to treat your YouTube premieres very differently from your regular YouTube uploads. The video still doesn’t go “live” until your scheduled time and it continues to live at the same URL after the initial premiere. All it means is that the watch page goes public ahead of the initial premiere and you have the opportunity to build up hype beforehand, and generate more of an exciting experience when your viewers can watch the video for the first time at the same time as other viewers.
Have you tried YouTube premieres yet?