As of right now, YouTube is the second most popular website on the internet. To put this in perspective, the next most visited music streaming website is Spotify at rank 69. Based on this data, if you’re not using YouTube to promote your music then you’re missing out on a humongous chunk of your potential audience. Uploading your music to YouTube will provide a bigger spotlight for you to be heard and much like Spotify playlists, music YouTube channels can provide you get a leg up over the competition. Today we’re going to take a look at how you can use YouTube to boost your plays, garner exposure and generate some revenue!
Your Brand, Your Channel
Many artists prefer to have their own channels for distributing their music. There is a multitude of reasons why you might want to take this approach including control and revenue. However, starting from scratch means that you’re going to have to do some serious research and quite a bit of social media work in order to generate those plays. Great content is always the most important element but if nobody knows it’s there to see, it’s never going to grow. Let’s look at some of the pros for having your own music YouTube channel.
The greatest way to retain creative control over your own work is, of course, to manage your own YouTube channel. Music YouTube channels are not out to cause you any harm as an artist but they do tend to make their own decisions. These choices are things like schedules, visual accompaniment and video descriptions. If you do all of your own uploading to your own channel then you get to make all the decisions.
Another fantastic reason to have complete control over all your own content is revenue. Almost everybody wants to get paid for doing what they love and YouTube has made this dream a reality for so many people. Musicians can use the platform to spread their music and to interact with their audience in a way that music streaming services cannot offer. Equally, YouTube (eventually) gives you the chance to monetise this content and generate an income stream from your videos.
Streaming services offer this but they only allow you to generate income from the music. YouTube is going to allow you to upload far more related content, thus allowing you to make more money. If you’re an electronic music producer who uploads to YouTube and gets good plays, why not take some time to make a video on something related? Perhaps a tutorial on production techniques? Maybe your band uploads to YouTube and you could do a video on your favourite electric guitars? The potential is fairly endless and each piece of great content will push you that much further in getting your music heard.
The obvious downside to having your own music YouTube channel is the time it takes to build an audience. If you’re already well established on social media then this won’t be as difficult for you. However, if you’re still stuck around those first 500-1000 followers on Twitter/Facebook then you’re going to have a harder time of building a channel. It’s for this very reason that many people choose to make use of existing music YouTube channels. Ultimately, it’s about making the decision that best suits your music and your brand.
Another potential downside to having your own channel is all the new skills and software you’re going to need. There are uploading sites out there that means you can quickly get on YouTube with just a song and an image. However, they tend to include watermarks and aren’t generally anything special. They’re certainly not anything that’s going to help to engage potential viewers. Taking the time to learn some basic video editing might not be what you want to do. Especially when you’re already doing so much audio editing. Equally, learning to optimise videos for search engines and taking the time to file out all the data forms that go with each video can be truly painful for some. It’s all down to what works best for you.
Employing Music YouTube Channels
So maybe you’ve decided that you don’t want all of the hassle involved with running your own music Youtube channel. If that’s the case, it’s time to turn to the pros! There are literally thousands of promotional YouTube channels that are dedicated to streaming your music and DJ mixes. They do this because they can generate revenue from your content whilst building their own platform but at least (in most cases) it doesn’t cost you anything. Equally, if you’re lucky enough to make it onto one of these channels then the exposure will only help your growth as an artist.
So What Do I Do?
A quick search on Google for your genre and the term “YouTube promotion” is going to chuck up any number of channels that can offer you their services. This concept seems to have it’s biggest players in things like electronic dance music and hip hop/downtempo/chill music but there are channels for everyone out there. Much like my suggestions for getting onto Spotify playlists, this is where you’ll have to do a little bit of hunting and write some very enticing emails. You need to sell the idea of your music and how it will fit (as well as grow) their channel. If you can get in the door, you’re on your way to building a serious following.
Make sure to be sincere and appreciative in your email but also confident of your music. After all, you’re selling them a product just like you would to potential fans. Equally, make sure to follow up on your submissions. Many of these channels received hundreds, if not thousands of messages every day. Plenty are bound to slip through the net. Don’t spam their inboxes but do make sure to follow up or resubmit regularly. It all comes to down to how badly you want it!
YouTube Live Streaming
Streaming is becoming such a huge part of the music industry. It was only a matter of time before music YouTube channels went live around the clock. These channels can be thought of like digital radio stations. Run by automated services, they streaming around the clock, taking short breaks to add new content to their playlists. These new live channels are great for promoters. They allow them to keep users engaged for longer periods of time, even if they aren’t directly viewing the site. This means more music gets heard and more revenue can be generated.
This is great for you musicians as well. A channel that keeps people engaged for more than just one song means a greater chance of your music being heard by thousands of people, multiple times a day. Equally, because these channels play their content back to back on an almost infinite cycle, they need large amounts of content to not become repetitive. For this reason, you’ll probably have a greater chance of submitting singles or small projects successfully to these live music Youtube channels. The more avenues you have to place your music, the more you can be heard.
A Word on Other Video Sites
Whilst YouTube is the king of video platforms, there are others out there. Just as I mentioned not limiting yourself to just streaming services, don’t limit yourself to just YouTube for visual streaming. Twitch actually ranks higher than Spotify for regular visitors. I know that doesn’t mean it’s better as a music streaming service. However, plenty of live channels use Twitch to stream music. Equally, gaming streamers always need music to play in the background. Submitting your music to them is just as useful as a music YouTube channel. If your music is being heard, who cares where it is?
Finally, take advantage of video management services. I’m sure many of you are signed up to sites like Distrokid so you can get your music onto as many platforms as possible. Well, sites like Waach are essentially the same but for video. This means you only have to fill in the details once. Then, you can get your content spread all over the net at the push of a button. This simplifies the administrative side of owning your own music YouTube channel.
If you are not already, get yourself on to some music YouTube channels. With the second most daily traffic of any site on the net, it’s a goldmine for getting clicks on music. Being featured on as many different streaming services as possible is going to maximise your reach and potential for success. If you feel like you want full creative control and you’re prepared to put the work into building your own platform, then get your self a channel setup.
If that sounds tedious and confusing to you then make sure to take advantage of music YouTube channels. These platforms take the best new music in their fields and give it a spin for millions of subscribers. Also, many of these channels feature round the clock live streams playing more music back to back. This gives you three options to build new fans on just one website. It is great exposure at no cost!