How Boyce Avenue Became The Most Followed Indie Band On YouTube

Boyce Avenue has made a name for itself as the biggest “YouTube band”. Consisting of brothers Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano, the band is considered as the pioneer of YouTube pop stars. The band began its YouTube journey in 2007, by uploading acoustic covers of recent hits. Since then, they have covered some of the biggest names in the music industry: nearly 100 million people have watched their version of Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors.

As of today, the band has accumulated over 8 million subscribers and 2.5 billion views on YouTube. The feat is unprecedented, especially because it is one of the first indie bands to have achieved this without external help. The band has achieved all the milestones of famous pop stars: sold-out European tours, studio time with hit producers, TV appearances and millions of dollars worth of revenue. Below are four ways Boyce Avenue became the most followed indie band on YouTube:

1. Used YouTube as a distributor

Boyce Avenue mainly uses YouTube as a platform to distribute their music. They have avoided monetising their YouTube channel for a very long time. This is due to their reasoning that advertisements weaken traffic and search results, which drive sales of tickets and merch. The band employs a traditional music business, generating revenue via record sales and tours. The band enjoys the creative freedom that YouTube offered.

2. Produced cover songs to become more search friendly

The trio focused on creating cover versions to become more searchable. Their aim was to establish their presence through acoustic cover versions of major hits. The logic is simple, “Nobody’s going to search for a song they don’t know” – as stated by Alejandra Manzano in USA Today. The group has covered songs by Sam Smith, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Cold Play and several others. The group became extremely famous for their versions of All of Me by John Legend (37 million views) and Demons by Imagine Dragons (40 million views). So much so that others began making covers of Boyce Avenue’s covers.

3. Collaborated with several other indie artists

Boyce Avenue has collaborated with several versatile indie artists. The diversity of their collab choices makes each one of their releases unique. Collaborations with artists such as Kina Grannis and Fifth Harmony who have a large number of followers, has in turn helped the band’s channel to grow. Their cover of When I was Your Man by Bruno Mars with Fifth Harmony raked in over 57 million views on YouTube.

4. Followed an uploading strategy

The band decides what songs to cover, which artists to collaborate with and when to upload new videos on an ad hoc basis. Daniel Manzano told Forbes, “A lot of it is decided ad hoc, which I think is the way it should be because what people want to see and want to hear is what we’re into at the time or in the moment. We let a lot of factors come into play when we decide what it is that we want to play or cover or post. A lot of it’s like, “Are we into the song?,” “Do we think we can do a good version?,” “Do we think we can add something new?” The band aims to upload at least a video every week or three every month. They give fans enough time to discover new videos, listen, share and re-watch. “You don’t want to just be posting a video a day. It’s more of a quality over quantity thing. We need time to really become part of the music. We don’t like just throwing stuff out there.” he added.

Boyce Avenue has become a global music sensation. Their soulful acoustic covers of popular songs and original tracks have taken YouTube by storm. By remaining unsigned for the most part, the band has outpaced even the best of artists on YouTube. They attribute a large part of their success to the creative freedom that YouTube offers. So jump on the YouTube bandwagon and see what the platform has in store for you.

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Manasa Boggaram is a writer and has a strong passion for music, positive news and constructive journalism. When she is not researching story ideas or writing blog posts, she spends her time reading books, discovering new music and eating lots of street food.

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