Youtube is becoming increasingly used as a social media platform rather than a traditional broadcasting site. Data analysts of competitors has exposed the importance of using Youtube and its features to its full potential, utilising the tools provided to boost views and subscribers. MTV Nederland has the opportunity to increase engagement on the channel



To conduct a competitive analysis on YouTube and draft a YouTube strategy for MTV Nederland using data collected through various methodology.

  1. Google Trends
  2. Veescore
  3. YouTube API (Visualised on Gephi)


Direct Competitors

Dutch YouTube channels/users uploading the same (or very similar) content as MTV Nederland.

XITE is a Dutch music television channel broadcasting popular music videos 24/7 with over 27’874 followers.

Top Notch is another youtube channel featuring music from Dutch hip-hop artists and organizes concerts and festivals. Top Notch has over 1’269’038 followers.

Both Xite and Top Notch youtube channels are using Youtube as a social media platform, rather than a broadcasting site. Xite and Top Notch have created connections with other channels by highlighting their favourite or related channels, including artists, conglomerate channels and featured celebrities. These channels have also utilised the ‘community’ section on their Youtube page. This is allows channels to post updates, create polls, share GIFs, and interact with subscribers and visitors on a more personal and social level (similar to Facebook). Top Notch shares new music with their followers on the community feed and provides a link to stream the song directly, this could be implemented by MTV Nederland as a platform to share episodes. Xite also utilises the survey feature on the community page, allowing more engagement and feedback. By using both the featured channels and community tools on Youtube, MTV Nederland can create a sense of community and loyalty on the platform.

Indirect Competitors:

Dutch channels/users trending on YouTube, uploading content not directly related to the content MTV posts.

Concentrate is an online entertainment platform dedicated to YouTube creators, social influencers and new talents collaborating on the same channel and delivering “innovative and authentic content” through different formats. The channel has 430’339 subscribers.

Stuk TV the creators post some challenge suggestions on their website every week, and users vote depending on whether they like the challenge, the most voted is posted on Youtube. The channel has 1’806’299.

Concentrate is itself a network - by featuring different users in their videos, they attract different “fandoms,” linking multiple communities on their channel. On the other hand, Stuk TV engages users with its interactive strategy. Having the chance to vote for the content of the next video, users feel they actively participate in the creation of the videos.


All of the proposals are data driven.

1. Interviews with artists

  • People are interest in watching controversial influencers on personal talks. Lil’ Kleine was mentioned in some MTV Nederland videos and they are the most viewed videos in the channel. The most viewed video is Lil’ thanking after winning MTV EMA 2017 and the second one is a Sit-Down talk. To select the artists would be useful to use the map created on Gephi giving priority to relevant artists and channels with a lot of subscribers.

  • A deeper understanding of the types of artists that attracts the teenagers - young adults can be done to have a more effective collaboration between MTV Nederland and the selected artist.
Supporting Analysis:

2. Events content

  • It was found to be very productive when channels create Youtube special content during events. To produce content and use keywords based on important dates has a big impact on video ranking. VMA’s and EMA’s specials could be an example of it. Also Live Stream Events shows the impact events have on the number of views and subscriptions (ex: the EMAs in November 2017)
  • Events heighten YouTube users’ attention. When an event happens, indeed, the number of users searching for relevant terms and producers making event-related videos strongly increases. As a result, the search algorithm picks up on this cumulative increase in interest, leading to changes in search ranking that privilege recently uploaded items. ( Rieder et al., 2018)
  • In fact, MTV content related to EMA 2017 generated the highest number of interactions in terms of views, comments, and likes. Additionally, “MTV awards” was the most researched YouTube topic related to MTV within the last 12 months.
  • For these reasons, it is crucial that MTV keeps uploading content related to its Awards either while they are going on, through live streams, or after a short time (ex. The following day), when the users’ attention for the event is still peaking.
  • Also, international awards highlights should include Dutch subtitles. MTV international is uploading highlights of the awards, so MTV NL could post similar highlights but with Dutch subtitles as well. This would provide MTV NL with additional engaging content to upload.

3. Controversial content

  • MTV show “Ex on the Beach” was the most popular Web Research query related to MTV within the last 12 months. The controversial show featuring single men and women looking for love during summer holidays and being eventually joined by their exes seems to be highly attracting YouTube users’ attention.
  • According to a 2018 study conducted by Rieder et al. about YouTube ranking algorithms and cultures, channels that feed on controversy will increase loyal audiences and appear in the top ranking positions, even when their videos receive less views than more mainstream voices (Rieder et al., 2018).

4. Utilise the community tab

  • Creating a social interaction with users, including post updates, polls, share GIFs, and interact with subscribers and users on a more personal and social level, similar to Facebook.
  • Conversational Marketing - communicating with users in the comments (also possible through the Community feature)
Supporting Analysis:
Community Feature:
YouTube Community is a new feature of the world's most popular video streaming site that allows content producers to interact directly with their community.

One of the shortcomings of YouTube up until now was that interaction between video producers and users was severely limited. Users had options to leave comments underneath videos, and to send a message on the channel's about page. Both options are far from ideal, which is why many content producers use other sites and services for that purpose. Popular choices include social networking sites like Facebook, other streaming services that offer better community features, or websites operated directly by channel staff.

A third-party report suggested in August that Google was about to launch a feature called Backstage on YouTube. Backstage supposedly would introduce options on YouTube to share photos, text, videos and polls with subscribers. With the feature, MTV Nederland can foster relationship with their audiences through brand communities which can enhance feelings of community among members, create value for both the members and the company, and may increase brand loyalty through trust (Laroche et al., 2012).


1. MTV Gemist

  • Tagging ‘gemist’ (missed) and linking to the MTV NL website so viewers can catch up (this was a popular search word from the data). It has been found that people have frequently been searching for the term in relation to MTV.
  • Google trends showed a strong relationship between the words ‘gemist’ and ‘mtv’ in the Netherlands.
  • Include keywords for ‘catching up’ on episodes, including a button feature on the video that redirects the user more clearly to watch the video.

Supporting Analysis:

Google Trend Analysis:

Google trend reports has provided an insight into popular web searched queries related to MTV, additionally the most popular Youtube searches related to MTV within the Netherlands. The data from these reports has provided insight into trending searches within the Netherlands, a key tool to take advantage of and apply to Youtube tags and keywords. For example, ‘MTV Gemist’ was one of the top searched web queries in the past 12 months within the Netherlands. Corroborating this information, we ran a Veescore report on these key words, the data showed that this phrase, ‘MTV GEMIST’ was searched on average 1.8 million times per month on Youtube within the Netherlands. Utilising this information and applying this to MTV Nederland content and using these search words within Youtube tags will boost views and potentially subscribers. Another popular search is ‘Ex on the Beach’ and ‘VMA’, this information provides key insight which could also be applied to content creation. These queries on ‘Ex on the Beach’ and ‘VMA’, is supported by previous data which presents that videos posted on this topic gains more significant views. Through analyzing some of the most watched videos on MTV Nederland Youtube, videos related to ‘Ex on the Beach’ were highly controversial and explicit.

Another popular search word which is less major for MTV Nederland, however extremely popular in the Netherlands in general is ‘Lil Kleine’, another potential suggestion for MTV Nederland native content. Youtube queries within the Netherlands for Lil Kleine on average have over 32’000’000 searches monthly according to Veescore Data. Top Notch a competing channel, receives over 30 million views on ‘Lil Kleine’ music videos, and RTL Late Night posted an interview video with the rapper and received over 3.5 million views. Similarly, MTV Nederland has previously posted an interview with Lil Kleine, which is the second most popular video on the channel with over 459’000 views, again containing controversial and exclusive information on the rapper. By using keywords that have been queried, both web searched and google searched within the Netherlands, an opportunity to utilise this information for content creation with influencers and gain engagement from users is present.


1. Native content

  • Creating a playlist of YouTube Exclusive - YouTube exclusive clips and interviews
  • Playlist to be created on the basis of polls (users engaging on the Community feature of Youtube; ex: Behind the Scenes/Interviews with the most loved characters)
  • Content created especially for Youtube
  • The content can include English subtitles, keywords, and video names - large international presence in Netherlands. The country is multicultural and has increased population by 1.5 million inhabitants in the last two decades, 86% people from a migration background (CBS). With an abundance of diverse cultures and languages, the Netherlands has the highest english proficiency in the world (Marketline Advantage).


1. Create connections with similar YouTube users, channels and artists to create relationships and boost MTV NL community

Using Gephi, a visualisation tool, we can see that MTV Nederland is not connected to any channels and is very distant from the “communities” or group of channels. Based on data mapped on Gephi, channels MTV Nederland can feature includes:

  • MTV channels: including MTV, MTV international and MTV News
  • Music artists: accordingly to the other MTV YouTube channels to enter the same community. A deeper understanding of the types of artists that attracts the teenagers - young adults can be done to have a more effective collaboration between MTV Nederland and the selected artist.
  • Popular YouTube channels linking different communities and collecting the most interesting videos from worldwide, such as YouTube Spotlight (gathering the new and trending videos from around the world, from music to culture to Internet phenomena on their channel) - positioned in between the two communities, pink and green mapped on Gephi.

Supporting Analysis:
Gephi - Visualisation Tool

As MTV Nederland do not have any channel connections with other channels, we created network maps on Gephi through keywords search and gathered the following findings:

MTV NL Communities Gephi PDF:

It is surprising to see that MTV Nederland Youtube channel do not have any connections with other Youtube channels. *Note that MTV Nederland is found isolated at the top left corner of the network map as seen above.

On the network map created by Gephi, we see different channels represented by a “node”. Each node represents a channel and the size of the node reflects the numbers of subscribers to this channel, the bigger the node, the more subscribers they have. Through the community map, we see that there are two strong “communities” or groups of channels connected to one another. These channels are grouped based on subscriptions or that they are subscribed to one another. This may be due to shared consciousness/similarities (Laroche et al., 2012).

Zooming into the Gephi network map, we can see other MTV channels such as MTV, MTV International, MTV2, and MTV News connecting with each other and with other channels. Other main channels includes music artists’ channels like Selena Gomez, Rihanna, John Legend, and channels such as Lip Sync Battle and Comedy Central.

Overall Gephi Summary and Recommendations:

Through the Gephi network map, we were surprised to observe that MTV Nederland is not connected to any channels and is very distant from the “communities” or group of channels. Based on the data mapped on Gephi, some examples of channels MTV Nederland should be featuring were discussed.

YouTube Feature Analysis

Featured Channels:

MTV Nederland does not feature any other channels on their Youtube channel, unlike competitors. Featuring other channels on a Youtube profile creates a mental association with one channel and another users. Featuring even the most authoritative and popular channels in your niche, even channels you may even consider your ‘competition’, may seem counter-intuitive, however by featuring these channels their authority will rub off on you and you will be seen as part of that community.The more channels featured the more likely the viewer will recognise another channel in your space and make that all-important association. Also more likely this will lead to a cross-channel relationship, increase views and boost in brand reputation.