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Thumbnail Test Co-CEO CH Daniel: Why 1000+ YouTube Creators Will Still Use Our A/B Testing

Thumbnail Test Co-CEO CH Daniel: Why 1000+ YouTube Creators Will Still Use Our A/B Testing

Roberto Popolizio
Wanna know how one video by Ali Abdaal went from 300,000 views to 1.1m views after just changing the thumbnail?

Or how Nolan Molt of Think Media went from 40K views to 1.5M views with a simple A/B test?

They used Thumbnail Test, a software that has helped 1000+ YouTube creators A/B test thumbnails and titles.

Website Planet invited Ch Daniel, co-founder of CH Group, to learn what made Thumbnail Test the go-to A/B testing tool for some of the best YouTube creators, and why the upcoming A/B testing feature by YouTube itself is NOT going to be a competitor to Thumbnail Test.

Thumbnail Test was acquired recently for 6 figures and Daniel is now leading the company.

What are the key challenges in your industry right now?

Probably the biggest challenge is the fact that YouTube creators might be one thumbnail or one title away from going viral and getting the most out of their time.

But they can’t see that because they aren’t doing thumbnail A/B testing.

So picture this: you’re going live with a video and maybe you’re going live with one title plus thumbnail combination. Most of the time people have a different concept on their mind but you can only go live with one.

So if you’re not A/B testing, maybe that second or maybe that third concept was the one that would have helped you go viral which is what we have on this graph right here. Without testing, you are wasting the potential of your videos.

Now, YouTube is going out with this feature A/B testing for thumbnails only, but personally I don’t think that’s as much of a challenge as it sounds because our biggest competitor is not YouTube’s new feature…

Our biggest competitor is the fact that people don’t know they actually can A/B test!

However, more creators will see in their YouTube channel that there is a free version included as soon as that goes out later this year or maybe somewhat next year, but if they want a more powerful version with more content, that will be a huge challenge and a huge risk for us as it is. It’s a huge threat to our company, but I’m optimistic.

How are people trying to solve these issues, and why are these solutions not ideal?

People may do A/B testing if they have beta access from YouTube, but if they don’t have it, they are simply not doing A/B testing:

“I have multiple concepts or thumbnails in my head, but I’m not testing them all, I’m just praying that whatever I went live with is the best option.”

However, these people will start testing only IF they are aware that they can do thumbnail testing in the first place. In fact our biggest roadblock right now is educating people that we exist in the first place.

Those aware are probably using a competitor called TubeBuddy right here. TubeBuddy is offering thumbnail testing and a plethora of other things, whereas we do one thing only and we do it better. These are not my words, these are our users saying it because we asked them what made them switch from TubeBuddy.

People have told us that they don’t need everything, they only want the testing capability and it’s not necessarily a matter of pricing for most. They’ve gone with us because when you have to choose between a Swiss army knife versus a tool made specifically for one operation, people tend to choose the latter.

Another way to do this is to do A/B testing manually, where one can change the thumbnails – let’s say every week – and then they note down all the metrics they export from YouTube’s data. That’s a very tedious process and very few do that because it gets tiring really fast when you could do something like thumbnail testing and have these all pulled all around.

So you have to constantly update your spreadsheets and it gets tiring very fast, so it’s a free option that involves a lot of effort. Most of the time, YT creators can spare the dollar amount that we charge for the fun of testing and to free up their time, but even for somebody doing a test or two to see if it even makes sense, I think we offer an easier and faster option.

“I changed the thumb on a vid that was stuck at 15k views after 21 days and it took off and hit 120k”

Machining and Microwaves (YouTube Channel)

How do you solve these problems in a better way?

Just look at how one video by Ali Abdaal went from 300,000 views to 1.1m views after just changing the thumbnail.

Ideally, you always make the thumbnail first, but Ali Abdaal didn’t make a specific picture for the YouTube thumbnail this time. The video started well, but a few months later he ran an A/B test on TubeBuddy, and indeed the CTR (click-through rate) and AVD (average viewer duration) increased. So yes, views increased, but he felt it could be better.

He started using Thumbnail Test, as it is much easier to use, more updated, and more customizable. He ran a test and the newest thumbnail came out on top again:


He switched it up again and the video took off again (and is still growing to this day). The content is still the same, but more people are now clicking on the thumbnail.

“It’s such a good product and completely changed how we analyse and tweak our videos”

Ali Abdaal, YouTuber (5M Subs)

What new challenges and opportunities do you see coming in the future?

The biggest challenge is, no doubt, YouTube releasing their A-B testing feature, which as I said previously is also our biggest opportunity. YouTube will release it in a very simple way, which is you can add up to 3 thumbnails and they automatically perform the test and they let you know or they automatically set the best performing one.

With us you can upload much more than that:
  • We can also test titles
  • You can test hourly or daily
  • You also have those metrics in a very clear and easy to understand dashboard
So I think a good comparison would be as if YouTube is giving away free VWs but we give people a Ferrari or a Lamborghini to those who really wanna geek out on this sort of data. They require something like this where they can just scrape for the hidden nuggets, lose themselves in this kind of information and find the needle in the haystack thanks to our powerful set of tools.

I think people will simply be educated that they can do this, and more people might be looking for a more powerful option, while at the same time some of the current users will simply go away because they will be using YouTube’s feature – So challenge and opportunity.

How do you plan to adapt to these changes?

The plan is simple: Build some interest into the most powerful tool there is for testing or in A/B testing as it relates to YouTube.

Currently we are doing that, but I think we need to just push it even further. Back to my analogy with Ferraris – Ferrari didn’t just create a very powerful car and then just stopped because they said “this is it”.

Much like them, we have to keep going further than YouTube does, because this is where our business is and maybe even more important than that is what our users ask for… They ask us to help them make better decisions.

We can help them do that by offering more controls over the tests, scheduling automation, better metrics, better dashboards, better ways to understand the data, and more.

The last thing I have to mention is that we plan to adapt to these changes by simply being there, so don’t be surprised if when YouTube will come out with this feature and we will be either teaching people how to use our “competitor”, because we simply want to be out there helping creators do their best work.

So this is not a word saying that we don’t see YouTube as a competitor, we are simply there on top of their already existing soon-to-be-released feature.

P.S. The company has recently been acquired for 6 figures, and is ready to get to the next level!

Where can we go to learn more?

Website: https://thumbnailtest.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ABThumbnailTest

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ABThumbnailTest

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/101087919/

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