If you’re a musician looking to earn money from your craft, YouTube can be an incredibly powerful platform. With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and offers a massive audience for artists to showcase their music. But how do you make money on YouTube as a musician? It’s not as simple as just uploading your music and waiting for the checks to roll in. In this ultimate guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to start earning money on YouTube as a musician. From setting up your channel and optimizing your videos to monetizing your content and building a loyal fanbase, we’ll walk you through the entire process step by step. So grab your guitar, warm up your vocal cords, and let’s get started!
What Is The YouTube Partner Program?
The YouTube Partner Program provides creators with the opportunity to monetize their channel content by displaying ads and generating revenue. This program includes additional features that can assist YouTube channel owners in earning money. However, to join the program, creators must meet specific eligibility requirements. These requirements include having more than 4000 watch hours in the past 12 months and at least 1000 subscribers, linking a Google AdSense account, residing in a country where the program is available, and adhering to YouTube’s policies. Once these requirements are met, creators can apply to join the program and access new channel features to generate income. YouTube directly pays creators through their AdSense account via this program.
The most common method used by YouTube channels to generate income is by enabling monetization on their videos through the YouTube Partner Program. Once approved, ads are displayed on your videos, and you earn a portion of the revenue generated by these ads. The more viewers the ads reach, the higher your potential earnings. It’s important to own commercial rights to any audio and video content you choose to monetize on your channel, and to adhere to YouTube’s guidelines for advertiser-friendly content to ensure ads can be run on your videos.
One of the main benefits of joining the YouTube Partner Program as a musician is the potential to earn revenue from all types of content you upload to your channel, whether it be music videos, live performances, or other types of videos aimed at engaging your fans and keeping them up-to-date on your latest work.
The merch shelf feature on YouTube enables artists to showcase their official merchandise on their YouTube channels. It provides a direct link to the retailer’s website where their merchandise is available for purchase. However, to be eligible for this feature, in addition to being part of the YouTube Partner Program, certain requirements must be met. These requirements include having an official artist channel or having more than 10,000 subscribers.
YouTube provides a list of supported merch retailers that can be linked to the channel. Once enabled, a merch shelf appears below the videos, displaying the artist’s merchandise with a direct link to the purchase site.
With the merchandising feature enabled, artists can add links to their website, music in select online stores (such as Google Play and iTunes), and official artist merchandise directly on their YouTube videos. These can be added as cards and end cards on the videos, providing an additional revenue stream for artists and an opportunity to reach fans in a new way. Additionally, the merch shelf feature helps to increase the visibility of an artist’s merchandise to fans, as it is prominently displayed on their YouTube channel.
The channel membership feature on YouTube enables viewers to join an artist’s channel by making monthly subscription payments and receive membership benefits such as badges, emojis, and other goods. However, eligibility for this feature requires more than just being part of the YouTube Partner Program. Artists must have more than 30,000 subscribers to their channel to be eligible for the channel membership feature. It’s worth noting that this feature is currently available only in select countries around the world.
Super Chat & Super Stickers
The Super Chat and Super Stickers feature on YouTube enables viewers to purchase chat messages that stand out in the chat feed, and in some cases, even have them pinned at the top. These messages appear as coloured messages in the chat feed, and the amount of time their profile picture stays at the top depends on how much they spend. The more they spend, the longer it stays.
It’s important to note that Super Chat and Super Stickers work best if an artist has a high number of active viewers on their channel. Additionally, to use this feature, the artist must be 18 years old and live in a country where it’s available.
YouTube Premium Subscriptions
With YouTube Premium, members can pay a monthly fee for an improved user experience, such as the ability to watch YouTube videos without ads. As an artist on YouTube, you can benefit from this program, as YouTube pays you a portion of the subscription fee based on how much YouTube Premium members watch your content.
YouTube Music Revenue
One of the ways you can earn through YouTube as an artist is by distributing your work to YouTube Music:
How Do You Earn Money From YouTube Music?
Having your music on YouTube Music has several advantages, one of which is the fact that you get paid a certain amount for every stream your music generates. The best part is that you don’t have to meet the eligibility requirements of the YouTube Partner Program, such as having at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours. As soon as your music is available on their streaming service, you can start earning money from YouTube immediately.
How Do You Get Your Songs Published On YouTube Music?
In order to get your music onto YouTube Music, you need to use a label or a distributor to do so. It’s not possible to upload your music directly to the platform. This also means that you will not receive payments directly from YouTube; instead, your label or distributor will be responsible for paying you. The percentage of revenue you receive will depend on the agreement you have with your label or distributor.
Your songs are uploaded to YouTube Music as art tracks. Once they’re on the platform, listeners can find them either directly on the platform or under automatically generated artist topic channels on YouTube. It’s important to note that these artist topic channels are separate from your own channel.
However, YouTube recently introduced official artist channels, which bring all of an artist’s music together into one place. This combines their artist topic channels with their owned and operated channels, making it easier for fans to access all of their work in one place.
Using ContentID to Monetize Your Music
Were you aware that it’s possible to earn money when other individuals use your music in their YouTube videos or upload it to their channel? This is made possible by the Content ID tool on YouTube:
What is ContentID?
Content ID is a system implemented by YouTube to scan and identify the use of your music on the platform. This tool is used to manage and safeguard the copyright ownership of content uploaded to YouTube.
If your music is detected in a video on YouTube, you (as the copyright owner) will be provided with different options. You may choose to block the video, monetize it by running ads, or track the analytics related to its use.
How To Monetize Your Music Using ContentID?
There are two ways to monetize your music using ContentID. The first option is to apply for Content ID directly through YouTube. If approved, you’ll get access to the Content ID tool and other select features. This option is more suitable for those who have a deep understanding of copyright.
The second option is to use a third-party service to manage your rights via Content ID, which is simpler. Most distributors and publishers offer this option to monetize your tracks and collect revenue on your behalf. If you’re signed to a label, they’ll likely handle the process for you.
Album Sales & Merchandising
YouTube can be a great platform to promote your albums and merchandise and drive sales. There are several ways to customise your channel and increase traffic to your music and merchandise.
Even if you don’t have the merch shelf enabled, you can still promote links to your music and merchandise through your channel. One effective method is to use the description section below your YouTube videos to provide information about where listeners can purchase your music or merch. In addition, make sure to fill in the ‘about’ section on your channel with links to your website, your music on online stores, and other sites that sell your merchandise.
Creating YouTube videos specifically promoting your albums and merchandise can also be a great way to encourage listeners to buy and provide them with valuable information. Consider creating behind-the-scenes videos, interviews, or even live performances to give viewers a taste of what they can expect from your music and merchandise.
Touring & Concert Ticket Sales
YouTube can also be a useful platform to promote your upcoming performances or concerts and sell tickets to your fans. There are several innovative ways to accomplish this, including creating trailers for your tour, sharing behind-the-scenes footage, posting videos of live performances, and even live streaming your shows.
If you have an official artist channel, you can use it to advertise your shows and sell tickets through supported ticketers directly on your channel. However, this feature is only available in certain countries.
One of the most lucrative ways to earn money on YouTube is through paid product placements and endorsements. This involves featuring and advertising other brands and products in your artistic content. To maximize your earnings through this method, it’s important to have an established and engaged audience for your YouTube content. You can incorporate paid product placement in your music videos and other video content that you upload to YouTube.
If your content and overall brand appeal to a particular brand, they may be interested in advertising their products through your content. However, if your YouTube content contains any paid promotion, you must indicate this by checking the “video contains paid promotion” box in the settings.
When it comes to paid promotion on YouTube, you negotiate the pay directly with the brand associated with the product you are endorsing. YouTube does not take any percentage from your earnings.
Today we have explored various ways to make money on YouTube, both with videos and music on YouTube Music. This platform is a user-friendly tool for artists to grow and earn revenue at any level of their career.
By combining different monetization options, an artist can generate multiple streams of income from their YouTube channel. So, why not give them a try?
Have you monetized your YouTube channel? Let us help you do so by dropping a message to us today.