The Rising Importance of YouTube for Musicians

YouTube Logo

There is no doubt, YouTube is now THE destination for music.

In the leading global markets (excluding China), Youtube aggregates more music streams than all of the other streaming services combined! 46% of music streaming is down to YouTube, while 45% is accounted for by the combination of streams from all of the paid and free audio streaming services together.

YouTube is also one of the top social platforms. 85% of teenagers use YouTube, compared to 50% saying they use Facebook. That’s just how many USE these platforms, but what platforms do they use most often? Well, turns out it’s YouTube and Snapchat. From an industry point of view, video streaming revenues in the UK grew by 16% in 2017 – so expect more videos to start appearing.YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms

YouTube is both the destination for music and the social network where the next generations are gathering. And now, YouTube has launched YouTube Music, their dedicated music service which will have a series of new charts based on popular songs, videos, and artists.

There will be a ‘Trending’ chart in addition to a ‘Top Songs’  and ‘Top Artists’ chart.The ‘Trending’ chart will be updated multiple times per day and will highlight the most viewed new music on the platform. ‘Top Songs’ will gather data from different versions of a song that include music videos, lyrics videos, and user-uploaded videos. It will prioritise recently uploaded content, so that videos that have been around a while don’t bubble up older tracks. ‘Top Artists’ charts will count up plays from an artist’s entire catalogue including remixes, collaborations, live versions, lyrics videos, and official videos. The more views you can get, the better.

There are now some very solid reasons to create multiple types of video content for every track, and to create multiple versions of those tracks – just don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of volume.

With all this going on, here’s Rotor’s easy guide to getting in shape for YouTube:

Build out your Channel

Create playlists, and add behind the scenes clips, live videos, lyrics videos, promo videos and music videos. These will all help you to be surfaced, and make your music more discoverable. Create multiple types of videos for each individual track too. Videos not only help with charting but also increase engagement and views. Details are fuzzy, but lyrics videos get multiples of views and so do music videos – versus artwork videos or static images.

Get your metadata right

Add clear metadata and links. Make sure your video tags include your song title and your artist name! This a common mistake. Lots of people will add certain genres but you need to make sure you can found by your name and the titles of your songs. Also, make sure to have a good, clear format for your video titles. This is good: “MY NAME – My Song (Official)”. This is not good: “mY nAmE mysong produced by Th1sGUY and thatguyweknow”. You’ll get more clicks if you look professional.

Link out to where you make money

Clear and full descriptions with links. Link to Spotify, Bandcamp or your website. Maybe somewhere that drives revenue. Or drive fans to gigs, tickets or discovery of more of your music. You’d be surprised how discovery can actually drive revenue. Include full credits for all participants on your song too. Songwriters, producers, contributors, label etc. It’s just a cool thing to do and may help your discovery too!

Engage your fans

Interact with fans, comment, share, and make use of the YouTube chat messenger. YouTube now enables you to send invitation links to your fans or people your connected to, allowing them to chat with you on YouTube, comment and share videos. You can add participants to a chat and make it a group thing. Check out the messenger symbol in the top navigation bar when you’re logged into YouTube. This is a great tool for engagement.

Share the love

Always share your tracks from a playlist. This is a simple tactic. If you share YouTube videos individually, then YouTube will decide what videos your audience will automatically see next. Sharing a playlist makes sure they will have the opportunity to hear more of YOUR music!

That’s it. All you need to do now is get making music, get making videos and get yourself a YouTube channel if you haven’t already.