If you’re an independent artist, the focus on marketing your music to your fan base and your efforts to reach new fans never ceases. YouTube, a social media platform once heralded solely for its ability to amuse viewers by way of cat videos, is now considered the largest streaming service on the Internet. And it’s becoming a marketing powerhouse, with revenue-generating benefits and tools that can help artists build their careers. There are multiple ways to get heard and viewed beyond the “going viral” phenomenon, and if you’re not capitalizing on YouTube as a promotional, money-making and artist-support avenue, you’re missing out.
During this year’s Digital portion of SXSW, YouTube announced the launch of YouTube For Artists. This new suite of services lets independent artists track analytics using geographic data and access more in-depth view/play metrics associated with their channels and other channels where their music is being used. Much of this information will be made available via YouTube’s Content ID system, which is only accessible to independent artists via YouTube Partners.
If you distribute your music using TuneCore, for example, our YouTube Sound Recording Revenue collection service allows you to register your tracks within that Content ID system. From there, TuneCore – your YouTube Partner – can collect the revenue you might be missing out on when an ad is placed on your channel or when your music is featured in user-generated videos. We love having the ability to collect revenue on behalf of our artists. We love sharing data, like number of views and the URLs of the videos that use their music, with artists. And now, with YouTube For Artists, TuneCore Artists will soon be able to drive their career in new directions based on real time metrics.
Vivien Lewit, YouTube’s Head of Artist and Label Relations, told Fast Company that the new and improved creator hub “…takes the wisdom of experts who’ve spent years learning about YouTube through analytics and how to gain exposure, and delivers it to a wider audience of artists. We’re taking all of that and aggregating it in one specific place in a digestible format. It will help people understand how to gain fans, how to monetize content, what does YouTube’s algorithm reward, and what do those rewards mean in terms of where your videos will be surfaced.”
Furthermore, Billboard Magazine noted that, “Perhaps the most applicable tool will arrive after launch. In the coming weeks or months, YouTube will debut an analytical tool that will provide viewer information on a city level, with data going back to fall of 2013. This should help artists plan tours or which time zone to release an upcoming video.
As YouTube aims to position its creators for further success, artists’ data and information will be available for anyone to see. So instead of behind-the-scenes analytics, TuneCore Artists, who sign up with our YouTube Sound Recording Revenue collection service, will also be able to show their stats to decision makers, sponsors or promoters in the music and entertainment world who seek more information.
YouTube has certainly come a long way as a platform for artist promotion. They’ve developed more artist-friendly tools and features and music fans have easier methods of discovery. Plus artists have more efficient methods of managing their marketing efforts, collecting revenue from their sound recordings and analyzing their music’s influence.