May 15, 2014

New YouTube intro films: The pros and cons

Dwain Lucktung, Senior Content and Community Manager at Livity and somewhereto_ checks out the latest YouTube feature…

Exciting news – Google have released a new feature that allows you to automatically add an intro video up to three seconds to the start of every video on your YouTube channel. Whether it’s a promo sting, an outtake/snippet of things to come or a (very) short call to action, it’s a brand new step towards helping YouTube creators/producers/content managers with their own brand recognition.

somewhereto_ and our YouTube channel – The Spotlight – are on it!  Here’s our 3 second video promoting our summer of somewhereto_ festival now at the start of every film on the channel:

How to do this in 3 easy steps:

1. Upload the three-second intro video you’d like to use to your channel as an unlisted video.

2. On your channel’s InVideo Programming page, click “Add a channel branding intro” and select the intro from a list of eligible videos.

3. Select which videos you want the intro to appear on. You can choose whether to add it to all of your videos, or just the ones you’ve uploaded after a certain date. You can always remove or change the intro later.


Pros and cons:


The obvious benefit is how easy and quick the feature is to implement for any level of YouTube creator, and the consistent branding or message that can be applied across an entire channel’s videos within minutes.

However, so far YouTube have not allowed annotating of these intro videos when pulled to the front of films, which means if you want users to click through to something else advertised on your intro film, you have to manually go into the back end of each film that has your new intro film and annotate it then.

Also, three seconds is not very long! Intro films will have to be tremendously concise as well as engaging to receive any traction. So it will be fascinating to see how bigger channels that already have longer intros associated with their films (such as COPA90 and SB.TV) choose to use this feature.


If you see any great examples, please let us know with a comment below, and for more information check out the YouTube Creator blog and

15.05.2014, Dwain Lucktung, Senior Content and Community Manager at Livity