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Musicians can earn money with videos on YouTube because of the monetization and the associated advertising revenue. More and more often, musicians market themselves without a label and instead draw attention to themselves with platforms like YouTube. But how can you be found by potential fans on YouTube and can you make a living as a musician from YouTube? In this article, you'll learn how you can best market yourself and your music with YouTube.
The first idea for the YouTube platform dates back to 2004. On April 23, 2005, the first video was uploaded to what is now a billion-dollar platform. At the end of 2005, the platform was able to go online for the public and developed rapidly in the following years. By 2006, YouTube was already one of the top 10 websites with the most views, with an average of 65,000 new videos uploaded daily. At that time, no one could have imagined that this number would continue to explode on a daily basis.
Back at the end of 2006, the entire YouTube project was bought by Google and developed further. The tech giant paid around 1.5 billion euros for the takeover. Year after year, new possibilities for live streams, 3D videos and smarter algorithms followed, making the platform increasingly attractive for its users. It was also possible to acquire lucrative advertising partners for the respective target group. This also had an impact on content creators and musicians, who could now earn money on YouTube and make video creation their job.
Around 400 hours of video material are now uploaded to YouTube every minute, including numerous music videos and songs. With a monthly user base of 1.8 billion registered users, YouTube is now one of the largest networks in the world. It's the perfect platform to promote your music and get new fans.
In order to be allowed to link the videos on your YouTube channel with advertising, you must be 18 years old and set up a Google AdSense account. This will be linked directly to your bank account, and you will need to confirm your address to identify yourself as a real person. Once you receive the letter from YouTube with the registration PIN, you will be able to monetize possible music videos or larger background stories on your account and use them as advertising space. However, when uploading to the platform, make sure that you must be the rights holder of the new post.
Monetization is one of the most important functions for your marketing on YouTube, which allows you to get paid after a certain number of clicks. Roughly, for the number of 1,000 views per video, you will receive about one euro for the embedded advertising. The actual income depends on the current season and the demand from customers. For your monetization, there are several places where you can advertise on your channel.
As a pre-roll-advert, for example, the advertisement is played before the video begins. Complementary to this, you can also opt for advertising within the video from a length of 10 minutes - which is not recommended for music videos, however. The third form of advertising for monetized accounts on YouTube is banner advertising. This is clearly visible on the right-hand side and offers viewers target group-specific and selected ads.
In order to earn money with advertising, you need a certain level of awareness. Since many bands and solo artists would like to use YouTube as a source of income, you should pay attention to a good and unique preparation of your channel. Among other things, the channel description is an effective way to reveal more about you as a musician. The channel image can also arouse sympathy and ensure greater awareness. The following tips are also useful:
Musician search and the associated linking of multiple channels plays an important role in being found more quickly. The same applies to targeted measures in terms of search engine optimization, the basic rules of which also apply to YouTube. For this reason, work with the terms in titles and descriptions that your target group is likely to enter in the search field.
In order to market yourself in the best possible way, there are many other means available to you in addition to the YouTube channel. These can attract new fans to your music. The following strategies have helped many musicians grow on YouTube:
Especially for solo artists, cooperations with other music channels are a good way to push each other and attract the attention of the respective target groups. For such a cooperation, you can, for example, place a search ad here on mukken or search for musicians on our platform yourself.
If you play an instrument, work with a record company or produce your own music, a cooperation agreement in the form of product placements or reviews makes sense. In the context of a product placement, you draw attention to products, promotions and projects of the cooperation partner and are paid for it by the partner. However, make sure to be as authentic as possible and stay true to your style. Do not sell anything that you would not use yourself.
On social media, you can upload short clips of your music and share them with other users. At the same time, you can also place a link to your channel on YouTube, which will allow new fans to listen to and watch your other songs and videos. Cross-media work is almost impossible to circumvent nowadays - so take advantage of this opportunity. At the same time, potential producers can approach you via Facebook or Instagram to work with you.
In most cases, marketing your music on YouTube is a good supplement, but can hardly cover a main income without additional sources of income. Only very few YouTubers collect so many clicks that it is enough to live on. As a musician, you focus primarily on your music, which makes the constant upload of new videos hardly possible. Therefore, don't just bet on one horse, but try to make yourself known in other ways as well:
Your own website is an important digital business card, especially for contact with producers and potential investors. Practically at the push of a button, you are able to publish important data and make a first impression in the form of videos.
Even if YouTube is the portal with the largest reach, there are others on which musicians are searched for even more specifically. Offers such as Soundcloud or Myownmusic are already much more specific at this point and are extremely significant, especially for up-and-coming musicians.
You can literally feed new fans with small clips and details via social media. You can then make the full music tracks available for paid download or share them with fans via your YouTube channel.
For newly formed bands or aspiring solo artists, YouTube can be a great platform to gain more exposure. Your channel offers you a new and, above all, large stage with which you can optimally reach many people. However, you will hardly earn money as a musician in a fixed niche on YouTube. But that's not a bad thing, since there are plenty of other sources of income, such as studio work or concerts. Just use YouTube primarily for marketing and PR and increase your relevance as a musician. Through the comments under the videos you get important feedback and secure your success in the future. YouTube is the perfect solution for gaining experience and knowledge.
You want to start a band yourself or find musicians for exciting projects? Then you will definitely like our platform for musicians and bands. Right here you can search for musicians without any obligation and convince yourself of our broad expertise. Together with us, you will find experts from the music industry who can answer any question you may have about successful marketing on YouTube or other platforms. Just take a look around.
Originally published on April 19, 2021, updated on May 20, 2021