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How To

How To Monetize YouTube Music

Photograph of the blog post author, Georgia Carter

Georgia Carter

25.7.2022

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So, how do musicians make money on YouTube and do you want to do this yourself? What are monetization rights and what are digital music distributors essential if you want to make money from your music? What are the requirements for YouTube monetization? Why is brand sponsorship so important? We will answer these questions for you and then you’ll be earning money from your music left, right and centre! 

YouTube is one of the most recognized streaming platforms and reaches people aged between 18-34 than any other social media platform. 

Digital Music Distributor

First of all, you have created some incredible music, created content and uploaded it to YouTube. It’s yours and you want to make some money. What is your first port of call? In terms of YouTube video monetization, you need to reach out to a digital distributor. Whether your music is on your channel or uploaded by another site, they will help you register your music on YouTube as your own.  

As an emerging artist, a digital distributor will offer a service so when you send them your music, they will distributor it to stream online platforms like YouTube.  

They will distribute and register your music and using your YouTube’s Content ID, it will be authentically claimed as yours, and furthermore you can monetize music on YouTube. You can monetize your music in all of the following forms; sound recordings, compositions, visual content and music videos

Content ID on YouTube uses the following process to identify your music. Through uploading and fingerprinting of “assets” and reference files to YouTube’s Content Management System (or CMS) for Content ID scanning and monetization. So if your music is played, it will remember your song, find any user-generated video using your song and then place ads on which are relevant. You will in turn get paid. 

Digital distributors will receive the royalties you have earned from your music on your behalf, when it is streamed on YouTube. This is essentially how Youtube pays musicians. The royalties are based on how many clicks your song gets. 

If you ask yourself how to sell music to youtubers, YouTube will ask for a few things first. You need to ensure that your metadata – aunty information relating to your song on their platform is as accurate as possible, so that they can identify it as yours and not anybody else’s music. In short, before you work alongside any music distributor, make sure that in terms of copyright, this is all up-to-date. 

Copyright is very important here, as in terms of monetization rights, you have to fully own all the rights to commercially use all the video and audio components of your music. Therefore, when someone else as part of user-generated content – someone else playing your music and I will come back to this later in the blog – you have every right to be paid as part of that process. 

Prerequisites for YouTube Monetization  

There are certain requirements for an artist to make money on YouTube, such as the following; 

  • You must have at least 1,000 subscribers on the YouTube channel
  • Your videos will have generated over 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months 
  • You need to have a YouTube AdSense account  
  • You of course have to comply with any guidelines that YouTube has set out  

If you have all of these set up, then you can start to earn money by uploading songs to YouTube, and hopefully loads of it from your talent. If you need to get more people subscribing to your account, I would suggest reforming your social media and marketing campaigns and your numbers will be up in no time. 

User-Generated Content

Why is this important in relation to how to monetize music videos on YouTube? Well, if someone else is promoting your music online and making money from it, then you will in return make money. As an independent artist, it is a way to enable your music to be played, but just on other channels. First up, register with a digital distributor, send them your music and once you have been set up on their YouTube ad service, you can make money when your music is used in videos that get streamed.  

Selling Merchandise Online – YouTube Merch Shelf

Whether you have a large or small fanbase, then selling merch is the best way to connect with them and make yourself some well earned money. With YouTube Merch Shelf, you can sell your own brand’s merchandise on the platform. However, you need to meet the requirements below be eligible to do this; 

  • Your channel has more than 10,000 subscribers
  • Your videos reach a playback time of 4,000 hours per year
  • Your channel is approved for “monetization”
  • Your channel is not marked as made for kids
  • The YouTube partner program is available in your region

Brand Sponsorships

There are so many ways of making money uploading music to YouTube and brand sponsorship can be the link between your music and another company/content creator. You create a relationship with them and essentially decide how you will promote their service in return for you being paid. The way that this can be done is usually if you have a large volume of followers, they will reach out to you, and they know it will get a lot of traction in terms of views. It is a win-win situation, because you promote their brand, you get paid, your followers will continue to stream your music and you may even get more followers as well. If you do not have that much of a large following just yet, then you can approach a sponsor you feel would work well for you, and then decide what to promote on behalf of their brand/service. If you have a lower following online, as long as they are highly engaging, then you can create brand partnerships, because there is scope for longevity. In brief, YouTube for musicians is essential and you should really take advantage of the services it can offer, as it can be a very lucrative business when you use it in the right way. 

Don’t underestimate your audience. The larger audience you have, the more money you can make in so many different ways.

Do Music Videos Make Money On YouTube?

Yes they do. It is the same process as uploading songs on YouTube. It has to be said that as long as you hold all the rights to music videos, similar to any song you upload to YouTube.

The way that this works is all about the ads that are linked to the music video or songs itself. The country in which the clip is shown even has an effect on the revenue made for the musician.  

For example, Robin Thicke’s song Blurred Lines, made a profit of $250,000 back in 2013 with 76,000 views and an estimated value of $350,000. The high engaging audience made him a lot of money. 

As of April 2022, “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee is the second highest most popular video on YouTube based on global views. I wish I knew how much profit was making its way back to Luis and Daddy for this highly favored song.  

YouTube Monetization Conclusion

So if you ever asked how do singers make money from YouTube or do singers get paid for YouTube views and how do I follow in their footsteps, then you now know how it is all possible and what you need to do to make money on YouTube. There are endless possibilities, as long as you carry on making music and uploading it to YouTube, well the amount of money is up to you. There is always going to be a desire for more new YouTube creators, as we are a curious bunch, so if there is new music for us to listen to, we want to hear it. 

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