YouTube has long been a go-to platform for indie artists to get discovered. While you’re uploading tracks and making a name for yourself on YouTube, why not make some money from your music on the site too?
Musicians make money on YouTube in a variety of ways. The YouTube Partner Programme pays artists royalties on their music videos and musicians can enable ads to earn revenue on every stream. But monetising your YouTube channel is where the real profit lies.
YouTube can be a great potential money–maker for musicians. But the days of uploading videos and simply waiting for streams to pour in have gone. You’ll need to be active on YouTube and monetise your channel to boost your YouTube income.
How to make money with music on youtube
There’s definitely money to be made by getting your music on YouTube. Artists and musicians can earn revenue by posting and sharing content on YouTube – and there’s more than one way to do it, too.
Do music channels on YouTube make money?
An easy way to make money on YouTube is through ad revenue and by getting clicks and views on your video. But artists can also make a profit on YouTube through user-generated content, music promotion, and by signing up to YouTube monetisation programmes.
Monetising your channel is the trick to making even more money on YouTube as an artist.
Can you earn money by uploading songs on YouTube?
Uploading your songs to YouTube is a great way to get exposure for your music, and it can also earn you a profit at the same time.
When you upload a song to YouTube, you will get paid royalties based on how many views and clicks your video gets. The money you get paid is generated by ad revenue; advertisers pay YouTube to run ads during your videos and in turn, you’ll get paid royalties.
If fans, commercials, or other YouTube users feature your songs in their videos, you can earn a cut of the revenue from their content, too.
How much does an artist make per view on YouTube?
How much money an artist makes on YouTube depends heavily on how much engagement a video gets. It can also depend on various other factors, like whether you have to pay a producer, distributor, or featured artist their cut too.
In 2020, the average YouTube channel makes around $3 – $5 per 1000 video views.
Views and clicks will generate an income for you on YouTube, but the money you make from royalties alone will be limited if you don’t actively seek alternative ways to monetise your channel.
How to make money with music on YouTube
You can make money on YouTube by uploading videos featuring your music and monetising them. A simple way to do this by changing a setting on your channel to allow YouTube to put ads in your video which will then earn you YouTube royalties every time someone watches your content.
As a musician, you should monetise your music on YouTube as well as your videos. Other people can use your tracks in their YouTube videos and as the music creator, you’re entitled to the revenue from this user-generated content as well as your own videos.
To monetise your music across the whole platform, YouTube offers a system called Content ID. This tracks where your songs are being used on the site and lets you decide what you want to happen next.
How to monetise your songs in other people’s videos
YouTube’s Content ID system gives artists the option to take down a video using their music or to receive a cut of the royalties. But the Content ID system isn’t always successful at detecting videos that use copyrighted music.
Sometimes videos can do undetected by YouTube if the clip of the song is just short enough, or if the track’s been edited slightly. To make sure you trace 100% of YouTube content that features your music, you might want to hire a company who will find and monetise every video your music features on.
How do artists make money from music videos?
As an artist, you’ll have to do more than upload music videos and wait for streams to make real money on YouTube. You need to monetise your YouTube channel to maximise your earning potential.
Monetising means to “earn revenue” from, and here’s how you can increase the revenue you earn on your music videos:
- Allow YouTube to put ads on your videos.
- Create playlists so your viewers watch multiple videos on your channel.
- Link Google Adsense to your account.
- Collaborate with YouTube influencers or popular artists to boost your streams.
- Promote sponsored content in your videos – companies can make huge pay-outs to YouTubers to promote their products.
How to make money on YouTube
Monetising your channel won’t be beneficial if you don’t have any viewers for your content in the first place. The key to making money on YouTube is all about discovery – the more viewers you attract, the more revenue you’ll create.
YouTube can be a good earner for artists if you drive more traffic to your channel. Give these tips a go to get your videos discovered:
- Link your YouTube account to all your social media platforms and your website.
- Turn on the “enable channel recommendations” setting on your YouTube account.
- Tag all your videos – and keep an eye out for popular/trending tags.
- Run giveaways to get fans interested in your music.
- Use cards and end screens in your videos that get viewers involved – ask them to leave a comment on your video, or ask them to visit your website.
Make money in the YouTube Partner Programme
To get access to all of YouTube’s exclusive monetisation features, you’ll need to join the YouTube Partner Programme. This scheme gives creators and artists access to extra features on YouTube, including the option to monetise videos.
The YouTube Partner Programme comes with lots of perks. You’ll be able to access features like channel memberships, merchandise shelves, and YouTube Premium Revenue – all tools which will boost your earning potential on the platform.
Every YouTube monetisation feature comes with its own eligibility criteria, so it’s worth double–checking you meet the requirements when you sign up.
Make money with YouTube ads
Ad revenue is a simple and easy way to make money on your music videos on YouTube. Once you join the YouTube Partner Programme and turn on video monetisation, you’ll be able to enable ads on your videos and start earning revenue on your content.
As the video creator, you get a say how are where the ads are used on your page and your videos.
YouTube has a whole guide on their advertising formats and you can pick between ads with the most earning potential or ads that are the least obtrusive.
How much does YouTube pay?
YouTube doesn’t fare very well when compared to the revenue rates paid by other streaming platforms. Last year, studies found that YouTube artists earned $0.00069 per stream, while Apple Artists were paid $0.00735 per stream, and Spotify users earned $0.00437 per stream.
The figures might not depict YouTube as a very promising source of income for an independent artist, but these figures are only based on streams. You probably won’t earn lots of money on YouTube if you rely on happenstance clicks and views, but if you monetise your YouTube channel in other ways, you have the potential to turn over a bigger profit.
How much do music artists make on YouTube?
The amount of royalties YouTube pays doesn’t paint the whole picture of YouTube’s earning potential. Artists can make money on the video streaming platform beyond subscriptions and streams.
Singers and musicians use YouTube in lots of alternative ways to boost their revenue and profit on the platform. They also use their YouTube channel to direct traffic to their other sales outlets – like their online store and ticket/song sale sites to generate a bigger income.
If you fancy having a closer look at the figures and want to calculate your YouTube salary, give this YouTube Earnings Estimator a go.
How do singers make money?
YouTube has an advantage over Apple and Spotify: it can be used by singers to promote and sell their music in alternative ways.
You can make money on YouTube as a singer if you:
- Announce tour dates and promote upcoming gigs on your channel.
- Use the “annotations” feature on YouTube to create links in your videos to your website or online store.
- Create your own merch and advertise it on your YouTube videos.
- Upload free music tutorials (if these take off, they can lead to paid tutoring opportunities).
- Use YouTube to promote a crowdfunding campaign to fund your next album or tour.
Can you make money from lyric videos on YouTube?
Lyric videos pop up all the time on YouTube. They’re incredibly popular, so they might seem like a great option to get lots of streams and make money on YouTube. But lyric videos run into a lot of copyright issues and shouldn’t be monetised.
Unless you own the rights to the song you’re creating a lyric video for, you shouldn’t try to make money from a lyric video. If you do, you are breaching copyright laws and YouTube can take down the video.
Alternatively, YouTube might leave the video up – but all the revenue from the video will be given to the copyright holder (the person who owns the rights to the lyrics or song) instead of the video creator, meaning you won’t make any money from the video anyway.
YouTube monetisation for musicians
If you’re looking for help with licensing and collecting revenue from YouTube, using a digital reproduction collection agency can boost the money you make on your music videos.
Agencies like Audiam ensure you get paid all the royalties you’re owed for your music on YouTube.
If you want to earn even more money on your YouTube music videos, third-party platforms like Patreon can also help. When you debut or exclusively release your YouTube videos on sites like Patreon, fans can opt-in to pay a subscription fee for your content – which will generate more money for your music videos.
How to make money from music
YouTube might not pay the highest rate of royalties out of all the streaming platforms, but don’t let this put you off monetising your channel. As well as ad revenue, YouTube has lots of alternative ways to make money from your music.
Whether you join the YouTube Partner Programme, run sponsored promotions, or sell your merch on your channel. YouTube has lots of opportunities to get creative and make money at the same time!
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many subscribers do I need to monetise my YouTube channel?
To monetise your YouTube channel, you need to sign up to the YouTube Partner Programme. This requires you to have at least 1,000 subscribers and have a minimum of 4,000 video watch hours on your YouTube channel in the past 12 months.
- What are the most popular type of videos on YouTube?
Product Review videos, How-To videos, Q&A videos, Vlogs, and Tag or Challenge Videos consistently rank as the most popular type of YouTube videos.
If you’re a musician on YouTube, you could try to incorporate some of the most popular video types into your channel as well as posting music videos to draw in a bigger audience and increase your streams.
- Do YouTubers get money if viewers skip ads?
Ad revenue is how YouTubers make money on their videos. If a viewer skips the ads or doesn’t watch the ad the whole way through, then the YouTuber won’t get paid the revenue for that stream of their video. This is because an advertiser won’t pay for a skipped ad, so YouTube doesn’t count it as a view on the YouTuber’s video and the creator won’t get paid.
Do you have a YouTube channel? Share your links in the comments below!