YouTube Success Case Study: Dani Dev

Secret Sauce: Consistent interesting quality and 4 hit videos

A few weeks ago I ran across a channel that had grown very quickly from 130 subs in Feb to 84k today. Decided to analyze why he had been so successful. Here is what I found:

Dani Overview

Dani is a indie game developer and student. He posts weekly dev log videos.

He has posted 26 total videos. He has grown his channel very quickly, going from 131 subscribers on Feb 16th 2019, to 84,000 by July 2nd 2019.

His success has largely come from the YouTube algorithm recommending his 4 hit videos.

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Beginning

He started posting videos on Oct 19, 2018. We would post about once a month for the next 4 months. He would gain a few subscribers per day early on, getting to around 130 subscribers. He didn’t post super consistently.

That is when his first breakout video happened.

6 Months of Learning Game Development in Unity (Progress & Result)

1,337,860 views. Published on Feb 6, 2019

A great learning montage. Starts off with a great hook. “Half a year ago I decided to start learning Unity. This is the result of 6 months of work.”

I mean who wouldn’t keep watching? We want to see the results! And since the video natural draws people in as his skills and game progresses, I would bet this video have very high retention.

Success Factors

I would bet money this video was largely driven by recommended views.

He never had a huge social moment around the video as posts and shares of the video across social media is quite low.

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Dani posted it on a few subreddits getting some upvotes, but nothing too crazy.

This video took a few weeks to ramp up. He had a new channel but the more people saw the video, the more people watched the whole thing, leading YouTube to start recommending it more and more.

March 4th 2019 is when his views started taking off. March 6th is when subscribers really started taking off.

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This also could have been because he started posting more regularly. YouTube likes more consistent videos as they have more videos to recommend.

Keeping the Momentum

Once his ‘6 Month’ video started getting recommended Dani did something brilliant. I am not sure if he did this on purpose but he tapped into a YouTube trend with not one but two “Day in the life videos”. These types of videos have historical done well, and still are doing well on YouTube.

A day In the Life of a Game Developer & Student

477,459 views. Published on Mar 14, 2019

And then less than a month later another one.

A Day in the Life of an Indie Game Developer & Student — Monday

386,685 views. Published on Apr 4, 2019

His subs per day went down to a stable 200–300 a day level until his next hit video in May.

I Made a Game in 48 Hours!

1,097,397 views. Published on May 3, 2019

Now Dani has a great subscriber base and should hit 100k subs something in the next month.

Main Takeaways

Quality

Dani has good sound, good video quality. Nothing to distract from the videos.

Value.

Dani posts interesting, well made videos. He is smart and doing interesting things in a field many are interested in.

Bit o’ Luck

He had 4 hit videos that largely built his channel. The videos were quality, but which videos YouTube recommends is always a bit of luck.

Consistency

After his first few months of inconsistent videos, Dani has posted just about every week if not more.

Production Quality

Lots of screencast footage, which is great quality. The day in the life look to be filmed with a smaller camera or cell phone, but they are B roll and work just fine. He has great audio.

Other Channels

It is always good when evaluating YouTube strategies to check for other channels. Jack Black can get millions of follower on YouTube without doing anything because he is Jack Black.

However, in Dani’s case, it seems like his success is mostly driven by YouTube.

Twitter

Not a huge channel for him yet. 1,674 followers. Growth seems to track with YT growth.

Patreon

Not a huge channel for him yet. 35 patrons.

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Written by

Code, design, cook. Make stuff. Cookies. @BYU grad.

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