Ideas and Validation May 8, 2020

App reviews on Youtube - Is there potential?

Benas Leonavicius @benas11

Okay, so I have this idea...

I am trying to get into Youtube and have been creating various random videos this year.

One video actually got some attention, ranked on Youtube for a popular search term, and now consistently brings in views.

It was a review of the Fitbod fitness app (click here to see the video if interested)

It's one of the best videos in terms of watch time and consistency, which gave me an idea.

What do you think about a Youtube channel that reviews apps and maybe later other software?

Besides just reviews, I am also thinking of making challenges and experiments with the apps.

Example: sleep tracking app and I do 7/30 day sleep tracking before I review the app.

The overall feel of the videos would be: MKBHD + Matt D'Avella + Apps + Experiments + Reviews

How does that sound? Does it have any potential?

  1. 5

    MKBHD is probably the only YouTube channel that I consume on a consistent basis. With the number of apps out there, all fighting for our attention, I think a show like this would be pretty successful.

    That being said, I watch MKBHD because I love new tech, and companies are constantly coming out with new tech every year. Apps are a little different. Once I have a "sleep app" that I enjoy, I'm not going to be looking for another one in a year or two like I am a cell phone. So unless you can do follow-up reviews on new features coming out for apps, the content may be too broad for me to subscribe.

    Does that make sense? I would watch a video about a sleep app if I'm looking to find a sleep app, but I may not subscribe to that channel because I don't care about reviews on dating apps (for example). So it may work best if you start in a niche and review all the apps/software in that specific niche.

    Just some of my initial thoughts!

    1. 1

      This is exactly what I was thinking. My Fitbod video, although successful brought it, 0 subscribers, compared to other videos and it makes sense. Your search for an app, you watch review, and either download the app or not.

      I guess I would love to add some experiments or challenges in the mix to make videos entertaining, even if you already have a sleep app installed. Besides, probably focusing on "productivity" would make sense, so that I would not need to review the dating app, that not all viewers may be interested in.

      Although I don't want this to stop me, so I am thinking I may "figure this out" later, once I have at least 5-10 of these videos out and get some traction.

      Thank you for this - it's good to know that I was not the only one with these thoughts 😊

      1. 1

        Well, some people might subscribe to find out about some cool apps out there, sort of like Product Hunt. Especially if you keep it around a certain theme, like productivity, self-improvement, and health & fitness.

        1. 1

          Yeah, that may be a reason. However, it may be difficult to keep a certain theme as I see quite a variety of apps that I use and would love to do a review, but productivity is probably going to be the biggest theme of all.

      2. 1

        Yes, 100% definitely don't let this stop you. Just do it! Record a video right now of an "introduction" to your new YouTube channel, and what your initial idea is.

        "What's up everyone, this is my new channel where I review the latest productivity apps and software. I will share my favorite features with you and where I think they could improve. My goal with this channel is to ________. I can't wait to provide you value and hope you'll subscribe. If you have any suggestions on apps you'd like to see reviewed, leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter at _______."

        Then use that to ask people what they think, get feedback, and make adjustments as you go!

        1. 1

          Oh wow.. thanks for the whole script 😅 really appreciate that! Already have the first app downloaded that I want to review, so the "first" video will be coming soon :)

  2. 1

    That actually doesn't really impress me very much at all. There's so many unboxers and reviewers and influencers already fighting amongst the crumbs in a sea of insignificance all wrapped up in the Crux of a corporate silo.... (tallship yawns).

    Sure. Go for it. Be yet another following the trend of the road more travelled.

    Or perhaps, you could cut your own road...

    Why not cater to an entire universe of participants who reject the rat race that is the Google corporate silo and distribute your content from a platform that yes, anyone can use and access (just like YouTube), but separates you as a distinctive creator in a network that isn't overly saturated with the same redundant content.

    Publishing your videos in the fediverse means that your actual exposure is much greater in a market where niche developers abound, share, and reshare your content in an environment that contains no tracking and no ads getting in the way of getting your message out - and people there pay attention to where your liberapay and patreon accounts are located.

    If you're creating content that people want and find value in it, then they'll certainly subscribe for the private/exclusive business products.

    You're not limited to marketing your informative material strictly throughout the fediverse that Mastodon disseminates your productions throughout - your videos can be posted in Faceplant and Twatter and Instaspam, etc., But I think you'll find a very supportive community of millions of people who will embrace your commitment to open source, freedom, and respect for privacy concerns by choosing a fediverse server (or servers) from which to stream your creations at https://joinpeertube.org

    Give it a shot! Upload a few of your videos and then promote them over the fediverse via Mastodon or Pleroma, and when others begin boosting your videos they'll take on a life of their own )

    I hope that helps :)

    .

    1. 1

      I would have to disagree with you.

      You said:

      There's so many unboxers and reviewers and influencers already fighting amongst the crumbs in a sea of insignificance all wrapped up in the Crux of a corporate silo

      That is actually not true - the whole point of why I even asked this question is that there is no channel that I have seen that is dedicated to reviewing apps. Yes, there are tech reviews, yes there are gadget reviews, etc. But no one is doing reviews on apps, but these random videos do exist and they do get enough views to make you wonder.

      For the rest of your comments, thank you for the pitch, but I am not planning to move away from Youtube anytime soon. I like the platform, I use it and I want my videos to be there.

      The audience that you describe is not the audience I am looking in Youtube.

    2. 1

      Update:

      I've watched a couple of your vids and even subscribed. Here's my brutal take...

      Not withstanding your current idea topically, you've been pushing videos about a niche where, as I'm sure you can relate, very little trust and confidence exists.

      That having been said, I watched a couple of the shorter vids and came away with a sense of vulnerable, frustrated honesty on your part that was both upbeat and optimistic. It actually prompted me to subscribe.

      You did the standard troll baiting that once was effective (still is, but such titling is suspect nowadays).

      You're coverage of, and your reasonings for leaving upwork again, reeked of genuine honesty, and I especially enjoyed your semi hard luck story about making $5K/mo.

      There's some classic cliche edits like the coffee making thing, but I like those. I personally prefer shorter videos, generally speaking, for a couple of reasons:

      1.) What if the talent is boring, I don't like the presentation, or I have to wait several minutes to discover I really wasn't interested? No one likes feeling that they just wanted their time.

      2.) I have capped bandwidth, so aside from the potential to find that I've wasted any of my time, my monthly allocated traffic budget has been diminished and now I'm potentially pissed off.

      I would prefer that you script a bit better to make things more concise, cutting down the length of anything you do by about 1/3rd, but not enough to lose that playful, tongue in cheek, and familial essence that lends too your natural trustworthiness.

      For example, you might do a take and then count how many times you say, "uh", or "like", or "y'know". And I'm not saying you do that, I'm just suggesting that you keep the motion going.

      O only watched part of your Fitbit vid. Not my thing, yet as excruciatingly long as it was, you could have done much better keeping my attention by seeing me entertained with your natural charm. Instead, about one fifth of the screen time was actually fumbling a bit or threatening to go off on a tangent. I'm sure it was a thorough review though. Perhaps more playful segmentation clips like that coffee making interlude I mentioned earlier to break up any monotony if you feel it dragging?

      You were passionate about the app, and that is good, but to me, it appeared that led to your lack of a clearly storyboarded and scripted preproduction, suggesting that you maybe didn't know you're way around it as well as you actually do.

      Also, saying it's the best means that you can't now go and review another app in the same category objectively 😎

      Actually, in your videos, what I found the most compelling and endearing were your jovial lamentations surrounding your choices and discoveries and the pitfalls and doldrums you fell into in your quest to monetize and generated income - I found that genuine and truly entertaining, you have a great natural charisma and an honest videography of your quest to make an honest living was the recurring theme in your videos that resulted in me subscribing to your Chan.

      Finally, for the real tidbits that people want, you could gently steer them toward the patreon exclusive content that I mentioned before, through hosting your vids on fediverse servers that won't be censored, giving you complete control ( you can directly market those videos even through your YouTube channel, pick your own sponsores and charge then directly for the advertising) instead of ending up just another cog in the Sea approaching the relative insignificance that you related to your viewers when speaking as to why you left upwork.

      Well I hope that helps and please know I meant no offense. I swyped this out on my phone so no, I won't bother editing in case it's obvious how much my autocorrect hates me lol.

      Kindest regards,

      Bradley

      .

      1. 1

        Thank you for the feedback - some of those points I already noticed myself and with the next video will try to improve :)

        And yes, the videos should be shorted and I need to work on the script for sure!

        Again, thank you for subscribing and taking the time to watch several videos - I hope the next one that pop-up in your feed would be much more interesting than the ones I have right now :)

  3. 1

    I’m not too educated in this area but I think this might be a fantastic idea for a few reasons:

    1. People may not Google “what is the best app for…” much right now but that is because there is not a lot of good relevance-ranked content out there. In the future I think Google will dominate this type of search more though.

    2. My hypothesis is that Google’s search algorithm will continue to tilt more and more towards prioritizing video content over quality old school back-linked written website content as time goes on. The future is probably more video not reading.

    3. Getting ahead of this curve could provide you a ‘search algorithm moat.’

    In other words… I remember when WireCutter figured out the search algorithm for Google and maximized it to dominate online product reviews (eventually it was bought by the New York Times)… You are kind of doing WireCutter 2.0 and figuring out that in the future Google will prioritize video over quality written content so you are trying to become the video version of WireCutter?

    The main reason why I think Google might try to dominate app selection search is this… People always say, ‘users only download ONE app a year to their phone.’ Yes. This is true. But that one app is usually something like Uber or Calm or TikTok, i.e., it is an app which drives a large percent of global GDP. I think Google will want to control ad revenue for searches like that. Plus there is the whole Android ecosystem thing?

    If you can position yourself as the key influencer for that ONE big-money generating app download each year you will be posting on Indie Hackers from your villa in Monaco or Jackson Hole?

    I like the idea of ‘deep narrow category wells’ of video content when it comes to Google’s search algorithm future but that’s just my guess…

    I like this idea!

    1. 1

      Really good points! I guess this may be the opportunity that has not been explored fully. From all of these comments, one thing is very clear - I need to start working on videos and experement :)

  4. 1

    If you jump from one category to another. You maybe will get viewers, but not many subscribers. Unless your content will be very entertaining.
    In the lockdown period productivity category content raising. So if you start in a productivity theme and smartly mix other types off apps I think you will have a good start. You can try to look at Ali Abdaal channel he has some app review video in the productivity category.
    From my own experience. If you want to be successful in Youtube do what you love and don't try to force yourself.

    1. 1

      Thanks for this! I have just recently found Ali (literally a week ago) and have been enjoying his content.

      I had the exact same thought - try to steer into one category (productivity), but I will have freedom to review other apps that I enjoy.

      I think it’s time to create and see what happens!

      1. 2

        I don't know your background in video production. But the simple truth is starting to create and iterate with every video. It will be interesting to watch your videos so don't be shy and share it ;)

        1. 1

          Thanks for the support :) As this post got a lot of attention, I will share some news or updates once I have at least several videos out.

          However, in case you want to subscriber directly to the Youtube channel right now - here is the link

  5. 1

    IMO, there is a niche for it and you can become successful if you invest in the quality of video and community.

    1. 2

      Yeah, it seems like there is. Already planning the next video :)

  6. 1

    Don't know much about the app user audience you're aiming for but as an app maker in the productivity space is love for you to review it. It would obviously be worth more if the review is good and attracted users, but if it did it would be worth a lot. You might be able to offer something like a review subscription to builders on top of the affiliate model: you'll review the app multiple times and they (we) will improve it, until we arrive at a raving review that we'll publish. And you could be completely honest about the process with viewers too and even edit the first bad reviews into the final good one.

    It's especially worthwhile to me since I don't expect to do much Youtubing (I'm more of a writer) but I recognize the value and I know some of my audience will be video consumers.

    Ping me if you'd want to review wujuapp.com.

    1. 1

      That's a really interesting idea - definitely worth exploring more. However, it looks like something a bit down the line. I still need to break the 1,000 subscribers line and have at least a few of these videos out.

      1. 1

        I'd challenge that 1000 subscribers line. I would see value in a well produced review video even if you have a small audience or even no audience, because it would be useful for my own marketing efforts. I'd expect it to be cheaper than to just pay someone to produce a video for me because you are gaining content and can use it to increase your audience, which makes it a nice win-win for all sides.

        1. 1

          Ah... I haven't thought about this, as I a video that no one watches is less valuable, although I do see your point.

  7. 1

    You should ask, Who would be the target audience that would spend time watching a video and doesn’t think reading app reviews in the store is good enough for the small cost of the app? Maybe do reviews on apps that have high indirect costs for users like, requires a lot of data entry, or requires a good community within the app (and would be a waste to join a non-flourishing community). Or apps that have high cost of leaving (like losing data). Your fitness app review might fit the last category.

    1. 1

      Good points! I suppose I would not want to focus on any apps, but probably more geared towards productivity. First, I will review some of the apps that I use the most as it would be easier to do a review on something you are very familiar with.

      However, it looks like (from my research) there are enough people searching for different app reviews on Youtube - at least to get started.

  8. 1

    Just need to find a way to keep people engaged. Would people actually want to watch them? Would there be a need for them to watch them?

    1. 1

      Yeah, true! I only had this thought when I looked at the engagement metrics for my Fitbod app video. Apparently they are "above average" in terms of watch time, so this gave me a hit that people watch this. When I looked around more, I found other apps reviews, with more than 100k views, so there is a need, probably in a same way people watch smartphone reviews.

  9. 1

    As others mention from an app developer perspective you wouldn't have any problems finding developers wanting you to review them (we're always looking for cost effective ways to get the word out)!

    Difficult bit as you say is carving out a niche and style that's compelling for the audience - but I do agree it seems like a gap in the market at the moment and if you develop a unique and interesting format for app reviews (possibly as you mentioned reviewing over a period of time and showing how you incorporate them into your day to day life) that could work really well.

    I do find I watch a lot of MKBHD videos where I don't even have much interest in the products he's reviewing anymore - just love the format, personality, entertainment and production values.

    1. 1

      As others mention from an app developer perspective you wouldn't have any problems finding developers wanting you to review them (we're always looking for cost effective ways to get the word out)!

      Yes, I definitely see a lot of demand from developers, especially if I can hit 10k subs and above. So from this perspective, it's looking good.

      I do find I watch a lot of MKBHD videos where I don't even have much interest in the products he's reviewing anymore - just love the format, personality, entertainment and production values.

      And that's probably my answer: entertainment value + production value + unique format. I guess it is so much you can think beforehand - it's time to act now :)

      Thanks for the comment!

  10. 1

    There is a HUGE potential.

    I started reviewing website builders on Youtube a few years (my channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/sitebuilderreport)

    And here's what growth has looked like: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oj19gogiawymi30/File 2020-05-09%2C 10 40 44 AM.jpeg?dl=0

    I'd suggest plugging into affiliate programs to earn money and being completely upfront with viewers. People are okay with that as long as you're being honest.

    1. 1

      Just watched one of your recent videos about Squarespace - awesome work, really well done! And I guess if people are looking for website builders on youtube, then apps should also be quite a popular topic.

    2. 1

      Congratulations on that growth! The graph looks really good :)

      To me - it also looks like a huge potential, it's just weird that I haven't seen channels like that already. Either way, your channels look very similar to the way I see me going - thanks for that!

      And yes, I am always upfront about the affiliate commission - been working with that for a while now.

      1. 1

        Awesome— yeah just watched the Fitbod review, you're doing a great job dude!

  11. 1

    I think it's a great idea. You generally find bloggers for this, very few YouTubers. Let me know when you're taking submissions, would love to have Snap Search reviewed if you'd be up for it 😁

    1. 1

      Did not expect the first "submission" before even making at least a few videos on this 😅

      Thanks for the support! I also see this "opportunity" as it's usually more of written content and even searching for "app reviews" on Youtube does not give you any real or big channels.

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