Dominate YouTube like Twenty One Pilots.

This article breaks down how Twenty One Pilots YouTube strategy.

Twenty One Pilots are one of the biggest bands in the world. Their latest single ‘Level of Concern’ has over 234 million streams across Spotify and YouTube.

These numbers might sound impressive until you realise their most popular hit ‘Stressed Out’ from their four-time platinum album Blurry Face has 3,616,999,654 streams on the same platforms since its release in 2015 (yes… that’s billions 👀).

So what makes the marketing for Level of Concern stand-out over any of their other singles or albums?

The Blueprint E5 breaks down how Twenty One Pilots created five videos for Level of Concern on YouTube generating over 85 million views in the process.

Remember the blueprint to success is right in front of you, you just have to look in the right places.

Twenty One Pilots – Level of Concern

Level of Concern was released digitally as a stand-alone single on April 9th 2020. The track was the bands first single since the release of their 2018 album ‘Trench’.

Band members Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun said they would donate a portion of the song’s proceeds to Crew Nation, a global relief fund for live music crews affected by the pandemic.

The lyrics to the opening verse relate to the pandemic:

Panic on the brain, world has gone insane
Things are starting to get heavy
I can’t help but think I haven’t felt this way
Since I asked you to go steady
Wondering, would you be my little quarantine?
Or is this the way it ends?

Video #1The Music Video

Uploaded April 9 – 68 million views and counting.

The music video shows the two members of Twenty One Pilots, singer/multi-instrumentalist Tyler and drummer Josh, individually recording and filming their parts. The duo is seen creating and filming individually, loading the audio and video onto a hard drive and using back-and-forth snail mail to send each other their parts. 

Eventually the significant others of the duo figure in, too, for camera-manning and other purposes. The video has Tyler joined by his wife, Jenna, and their daughter, Rosie, who was born early last year. Josh, for his part, is joined by partner Debby who helps him festoon his studio space with glow-in-the-dark stars.

The video cleverly ends with the camera framing out and the duo living next door to each other.

Video 2 – The Live Debut on Jimmy Fallon

Uploaded May 23 – 5.5 million views and counting.

Twenty One Pillows performed Level of Concern live on The Tonight Show by Jimmy Fallon from in their front gardens.

After the live performance, the video was uploaded to The Tonight Show’s YouTube and reposted into a Level of Concern playlist by the band.

Tyler and Josh enlisted the help of Simon Jefferis, MisterWives’ Jesse Blum and Mutemath’s Paul Meany for the video. The Ohio duo’s animated companion Ned is also featured.

#3 – Live from outside video

Uploaded May 26 – 2.1 million views and counting.

The hard-drive from the official music video makes an appearance again in the audio-only version of Level of Concern. The hard-drive sits on top of the moving sky with the audio in the background.

Don’t overthink your content. Keep it simple.

#4 – The Lyric Video

Uploaded May 29 – 3.3 million views and counting.

This one is my favourite.

Twenty One Pilots shared an 80s-themed lyric video for Level Of Concern on May 29th, a month after the release of the song. The video was designed by artist Pinot W. Ichwandardi and created on a Macintosh ES and a Macintosh SE/30, two computers released in 1988 and 1989 respectively.

The video also shows a behind the scene look at how Ichwandardi created it on the two computers and how it became a full family affair with his son and daughter getting involved in the process.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ content.

5. The “Never-Ending” Music Video

Started in June. Ended 178 days later on December 16th.

Disclaimer: This video is not work.

Two months after the launch of the single, Twenty One Pilots challenged their fans to submit videos. “Dance, animate, dress up, get creative, be weird and have fun,” the band asked of fans in their call-out.

For 178 days, fans generated a never-ending music video for Level of Concern. The video ran for 4,264 hours, 10 minutes and 25 seconds live on YouTube, generating over 10 million views before it was finally cut on December 16th, six months after it launched. It was later confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records as the longest music video ever.

On December 16, the band uploaded a video of Band member Josh on the phone decorating his Christmas tree, saying the only way the video will end is if they lost power.

The stream then came to an end, after Josh “accidentally” unplugged the mains lead to the stream to plug in his Christmas tree.

If you are discovering Twenty One Pilots for the first time, check out this amazing interview with Atlantic Record’s President of A&R Pete Gunberg.

Pete talks about when Atlantic first discovered the duo and how they built their artist development roadmap to take them from unknowns to headlining New York’s Madison Square Garden.

That’s it for this weeks edition of The Blueprint.

See you next Tuesday.

Andrew at Socially Sound. 🔊


The Blueprint to success is right in front of you. You just have to look in the right places. Subscribe to The Socially Sound Blueprint here to receive it before anyone else.

Read previous The Socially Sound Blueprint editions below:

Bicep flex their marketing muscle – Part 1

Bicep flex their marketing muscle – Part 2

Bicep flex their marketing muscle – Part 3

Tommy Farrow – Zero to 1 million streams

Josh Hvaal – Signing music to Hot Creations

How to market your radio show like Moxie


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