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QOTD: How can you make money on YouTube as a musician?
There are many different ways in which you can make money with your music on YouTube. If you’re a musician and don’t yet have a YouTube channel, I would urge you to set one up right away. It’s the single biggest tool for music discovery, music promotion, marketing and sales in the world today. So if you don’t have a YouTube channel, you’re missing out in a major way.
The first and most obvious way in which you can make money on YouTube as a musician, is through advertising and YouTube’s own in-house monetization. The way it works is that you can enable YouTube to show ads before, during, after and also next to your video uploads. You then get paid a percentage of every ad view and ad click. So basically, the more you upload and the more popular your videos are, the more money you can be making through advertising. It pays off to be consistent! You can enable monetization for your videos easily by visiting the Channel settings in your Creator Studio.
The second big way in which you can make money with your music on YouTube is by embedding external links inside your own videos and thereby selling your music and merchandise. This is done through Annotations or Cards which are set up in your Creator Studio. When somebody clicks the link you feature in your video, they are directed to your own website or partner site where they can make a purchase. For a musician for example, you can embed a link to your single inside the accompanying music video. If you want to be a little more ingenious about the whole thing, you could also wear your own merchandise in your videos and upsell it from straight within the part of the clip where you’re wearing your fancy band t-shirt and snapback.
The third way to monetize your YouTube channel is through sponsorships. Generally this will only be applicable to channels with 10,000+ subscribers or who get a lot of monthly views. The way it works is that companies and brands sponsor you to make a video where you feature, review or otherwise mention a specific product, service or event. For example, as a musician you might be hired by a manufacturer of microphones or headphones to promote the product to your audience. Obviously sponsors will be mostly interested in social influencers that have a large network in order to really make a difference and generate sales for them. Having said that, it’s not uncommon to be paid anywhere from $100-10,000 depending on the size of your channel and your influence over the target market of your sponsor. There are a lot of sponsorship platforms out there geared towards matching sponsors with content creators, so browse through those frequently to find opportunities that might be applicable to you.
The fourth method of money making for musicians, once again presupposing you have at least 10,000+ subscribers, is getting paid by other artists and content creators to upload their music and videos to your own channel. The thought behind this is that it can be a great promotion and marketing platform for them to showcase their work to a new fanbase and viewership, particularly if they’re just starting out on YouTube and have few subscribers of their own. Some artists hate opening up their own fanbase to other musicians, but for those open to the idea you can absolutely use your personal channel or set up a whole new channel dedicated to promoting other people’s work to generate additional income.
The fifth way to make money on YouTube as an artist is to create paid content. You might have already seen this feature inside your Channel settings, whereby you can actually force people to pay in order to watch certain videos. If you have a new album out which you don’t want to stream for free you could ask your fans to pay a small fee, for example $0.99, to watch a video or video playlist of yours. Or perhaps you want to create a paid behind an exclusive behind-the-scenes video series for your closest fans. As well as the paid content, there are also ways to ask for donations, create paid live events and other constantly emerging monetization options, so just have a browse through your Channel settings in YouTube.
The sixth and final way to monetize your music is by joining a multi-channel network (MCN). The way that YouTube works is it is split into personal, individual channels and larger, private networks of channels. These are sub groups within YouTube such as BroadbandTV or Maker Studios, which generally hire the best-performing YouTube channels and promise higher advertising payouts, bigger royalties, sponsorships and other revenue generating activities they actively pursue for you.
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