Should you have ALL your music on YouTube as a DIY artist? (2022)

Now that the latest YouTube changes are in effect and every musician can have a channel that resembles those of the hallowed ‘Partner Channels’, it is time for every musician to create a channel and to post all their music to it.

And I don’t really want to debate it.

We touched on this in the last post and I don’t have a great deal more to say as justification, but I’ll try.

Most of this view comes from working for major label or independent label clients with a good level of global and online recognition already. However, we also recommend this for DIY musicians, including those starting from scratch, as all our experience to date shows that it builds fanbase quickly and with strong engagement.

YouTube is the largest Streaming Music Site

This is the number one reason.

Huge numbers of people now turn to YouTube as the ‘de facto’ place to LISTEN to a track or an artist that they’ve heard about. Forget that it’s a video sharing site; for your purposes it’s actually just a music sharing site, your own personal radio station with no battle to get playlisted or even to get a solitary play.

The music industry as a whole (which we battle daily with our signed clients) still don’t get this…. Our preference when working with a client like that is to release the whole of an album before the official release date by putting up what people call ‘Statics’ – generally a sleeve image with the audio running behind, but sometimes people are a little more creative with simple imagery (Note: this is NOT a full promo video – it’s just a way to let people hear the songs).

We meet a lot of resistance from labels on this approach, fearful of two things – firstly, piracy and secondly that letting people hear the whole record will stop them buying it as they will have nothing new to hear on release.

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We think both reasons are stupid.

At worst, people get to hear the record and decide not to buy it – but then you’ve failed in your first job of making a great record and your second offindingan audience. On the other hand, by making a great record and letting everyone hear it via YouTube you’re allowing people to discover your music very easily.

Yes, some people will steal it and it will find it’s way on to Torrents, but, in the end, that’s a good thing as it means people are interested enough to want to get hold of your music. And….those that take it for free were never going to buy it, but they might come to a show or buy a T-shirt. Stop worrying about the piracy issue.

So, have a look at Bruno Mars YouTube channel here.I don’t care what you think of his music – that’s irrelevant. What matters is that his label put most (not all, but their behaviour is encouraging for a major label) of his recent album on his channel before release. His album went in the Billboard 100 at Number 2.

Case closed.

YouTube is the 2nd biggest Search Engine

If you’ve been smart and put all your music on your YouTube channel in some form you can now take advantage of YouTube’s second biggest artist friendly feature – people use it as aprimary search enginefor music!

That means that they will actively decide to go to YouTube and then search for music.

As that’s the case, surely you’d be stupid (2nd time I’ve suggested that already!) NOT to have your music there? Ready to be discovered.

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Whilst all your mates and their bands run around worrying about how Spotify and R’dio are killing their careers (that they don’t yet, nor ever will have) and stealing from artists by paying peanuts for streams, just get your head down and learn how to master YouTube.

Start by getting all your music on there so you come up in those searches!

It’s all about Subscribers

There are things to learn about how best to title your clips and what tags to use – and the Guide from YouTube below is going to help with that – a lot.

But, you can learn a vast amount from wandering around the net and finding some YouTube experts to listen to – these two sites areinvaluable: Reel SEO and VidiSEO.

We’re learning all the time too and the one key factor that people always fail to grasp is that YouTube is just like Facebook and Twitter in many ways – yes it’s a music streaming and videosharingsite, but it’s also a social network. And that is a crucial thing to keep in mind. You can follow (in this case ‘subscribe’) to channels and you can like and comment and so on. Building your subscriber numbers is, in fact, the holy grail.

You see, when you have a significant number of subscribers, they see all your activity in their feed when they log in to their YouTube account. And that means that when you upload a new song, they will most likely go and check it out instantly which in turn bumps up your view count. That then makes you appear in more searches and perhaps on various YouTube section front pages or perhaps even as a recommended channel.

By the way, although posting videos is THE way to build fanbase, your subscribers will see all your activity, so you can make playlists of other people’s videos (bands that inspire you, songs you wish you wrote, worst trousers in rock, stupidest dance videos) and that will give your subscribers a reason to visit your channel (you can now add webcam introductions to playlists too allowing you to add a quick direct to camera reason as to why you’ve made that playlist). The comments you leave on other videos or channels will also show up in your feed to subscribers and there are creative uses that can be made of that.

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Only those that actively grow their subscribers will get that added attention – and that then turns into a snowball of fanbase growth.

One more thing about building subscribers – the mostsuccessfulYouTube channels stick to a reliable and consistent schedule of posting new content. Nearly every musician fails at this. When I suggest posting all of your forthcoming album, do NOT do that all in one go. Post one track a week for twelve weeks leading up to release making it clear that is what is going to happen and that subscribers will see that first (and hear the tracks!).

Add some regular BTS (‘behind the scenes’) episodes and some livefootageorwhateveryou can think ofthat you think your fans will like and don’t ever stop. Train your fans to expectregularvideo and they will bereadyand waiting.

YouTube Musician Playbook

Should you have ALL your music on YouTube as a DIY artist? (2)We’ve learnt a lot from a lot of different sources (and we’d love to put it all in a course for DIY musicians – time allowing!) but the starting point is this free guide from YouTube themselves.

It’s awesome and if you read it and apply it you will be light years ahead of most musicians. This guide is free and written by YouTube themselves and compiled from all their data from what works for musicians of all levels of success. Get it from the horse’s mouth!

Don’t ignore this. I think this is the best and most important tip on this whole site to date!



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(Video) how to use COPYRIGHTED MUSIC on YouTube LEGALLY! 👀


Do artists get bored of their songs? ›

However, even the most passionate musicians get bored with their craft at some point in their musical lives. For some artists, it's the frustration of feeling like they're constantly writing the same song over and over again.

Why do most music producers fail? ›

The reasons music producers fail is because they allow themselves to quit. If you never quit, you technically can't fail. If that's not enough for you, think of this: Kaskade took 15 years before one of his songs made it to the Billboard charts.

When should you take breaks from music production? ›

Taking a 10-second or so break every 10-15 minutes can prevent fatigue and will help restore your understanding of your song. If you're in a creative mood and want to do more, I would strongly recommend taking a break after 1-hour to test the true potential of your music.

Can you make a living off producing music? ›

Lots of music producers make a substantial amount of money by selling their beats to hip-hop artists and other independent musicians. Music producers are able to sell their tracks anywhere from $10 dollars into the tens of thousands. Depending on how much hype you have, you can set your price accordingly.

How do artists get more visibility? ›

Collaborate and connect with other artists

Create ties with artists you like, get to know them, befriend them. It is important to be close to other fellow artists, to count a good proportion of them in your followers. First of all, comments are a great way to attract new followers.

Is Instagram still good for artists? ›

Is Instagram worth it for artists in 2022? According to the Hiscox online art trade report 2022, Instagram is still the leading social media for discovering Art and artists. LinkedIn with 26% and TikTok with 10% are growing platforms for art-related purposes among younger art buyers, compared to 22% and 3% in 2020.

Should I copyright all of my songs? ›

Registering your copyrights is not required but it is highly recommended since doing so will give you certain protection under copyright law in case you need to sue someone for using your song without your permission.

Which music platform pays the most? ›

Here are some takeaways: In 2021, Spotify paid more to artists and musicians than any other streaming service, $7 billion (US) in total. The streamer says around 1000 artists generated $1m in revenue in 2021, while 450 artists earned more than $2m, and 130 artists over $5m.

Which streaming platform is better for artists? ›

Tidal. We found Tidal to be the best music streaming platform for serious listeners due to top-tier audio quality and higher royalty payouts for music artists.

Which streaming is best for artists? ›

Best Music Streaming Service for 2022
  • Spotify. Best music streaming service overall. See at Spotify.
  • Apple Music. Best alternative to Spotify. See at Apple.
  • Qobuz. Best for audiophiles. See at Qobuz.
  • Tidal. Best for compensating artists. See at Tidal.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited. Best for Prime members. See at Amazon.
24 Oct 2022

How much is 10k streams on Spotify? ›

As for how much Spotify pays per stream, they pay roughly $0.04 per 10 streams. So, 1000 streams would be around $4, and 100,000 streams would be $400.

How much does 1 million Spotify plays make? ›

Spotify pays between $0.001 and $0.008 per stream to artists. This means that if your song is streamed one million times on Spotify, you can expect to earn between $1,000 and $8,000. The average fee for streaming on Spotify in the US is $0.004.

How much does Apple Music pay Per 1000 streams? ›

How Much Does Apple Music Pay Per 1000 Streams? For every 1,000 streams, Apple Music pays artists about $6 to $10. As mentioned above, your number will fluctuate based on how many streams you receive and who listens to your music.

Are artists usually lonely? ›

Artists are often isolated, because they don't know any other artists. For some of us, the only chance we have to socialise with others who do things that are similar to us is the internet. And even there, you have to be part of a group or a “clique” sometimes to be accepted.

Do artists tend to be depressed? ›

Studies of artists and writers collated in Scientific American confirm that artists and writers are up to 20 times more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder (also called manic depressive illness) and 10 times more likely to suffer from depression.

How often should an artist drop music? ›

One figure that can work for artists is a full release every month. Most musicians feel comfortable releasing one fully recorded song a month. If you release one song per month, it makes twelve songs a year for you, and it's presumably a great way to start.

How do you get noticed in the music industry? ›

Top tips on being discovered
  1. Register your band for as many websites as possible, for example SoundCloud, Facebook,, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter.
  2. Get on new websites as soon as they launch. ...
  3. Get your music out there. ...
  4. Ask for feedback from people, but don't get angry if the reaction is negative.

Why is the music industry dying? ›

The Covid-19 pandemic has shattered the music industry. By taking away live music for what will likely be 18 months or more, Covid has ended the revenue stream that animated an entire music ecosystem. This is particularly true for independent artists with few other means of making a living in today's industry.

Is music declining in quality? ›

Due to the technology of compression, loudness is now being manipulated so that even the quietest parts of the song match the loudest parts, which actually create a very mumbled and muddled sound with less vibrancy and dynamics. So in conclusion, music now sounds all the same and the quality is drastically declining.

Can you release too much music? ›

Not only do fans want it, but release volume is a major indicator of steaming success. Whether it's an album release or a single... There is no such thing as too much music releases. Successful artists such as Drake and Kanye put out so much music every year.

How many hours does it take to master music production? ›

10,000 hours is the usual answer you will hear for the amount of time it takes learning and mastering any valuable skill, like music production. It's a good benchmark but it also really depends on your previous musical understanding.

How many hours a day should I produce music? ›

Try to spend one hour per day focused on music production. If you find it exceptionally hard to do this, start even smaller (15 or 30 minutes).

How many streams do you need to make a living off music? ›

So, you will need around 170,000 streams on Spotify and 85,000 streams on Apple Music to reach a minimum wage income. For a whole year, this number will come out to around 3.06 million streams on both platform that you will need to be able to make a living.

What is a ghost producer? ›

A ghost producer or ghostwriter is someone who creates tracks for other artists and is typically not credited for their contributions.

How many artists make a living? ›

Only ten percent of art school graduates make a living from their artwork.

How many seconds of a song is fair use? ›

Fair Use Length Guidelines
Printed Material
For Presentation or ProjectUp to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is shorter
Classroom ListeningAllowed for educational purposes.
For Presentation or ProjectUp to 10% or 30 seconds, whichever is shorter.
20 more rows

How do small artists get noticed? ›

5 Ways For A Small Band To Get Noticed
  1. Play as many gigs as is humanly possible. The gig is the small band's ultimate marketing tool. ...
  2. Use social media. Social media has completely changed our ability to promote ourselves. ...
  3. Don't waste money. ...
  4. Broaden your horizons.

Can I call myself a professional artist? ›

There is no mention if qualifications, how much money you make or the years of experience you have. It's quite acceptable to call yourself an artist even if you don't make a living, or trained.

Can artists survive without social media? ›

I believe it is absolutely still possible to have success as a modern-day illustrator, photographer, or painter even without social media. It is what worked for ages and even though times are changing, there are still many artists making a living with their art without wasting their creative energies on social media.

Why are artists leaving Instagram? ›

“I've started going through longer stretches of not posting," says one creator, "because there's really no point if no one can see them.” Instagram famously loves to make unpopular decisions – most of which are eventually reversed due to them being, er, unpopular.

How much can a single song make? ›

Physical Mechanical Royalties

Right now, the rate is 9.1 cents per song. This is the total mechanical royalty set by the Copyright Royalty Board, and is split among co-writers and publishers. Physical album sales aren't as big as they used to be, but can still be an important revenue stream.

How much does Spotify pay for 5k streams? ›

As for how much Spotify pays per stream, they pay roughly $0.04 per 10 streams. So, 1000 streams would be around $4, and 100,000 streams would be $400.

How much does 1 million Spotify streams pay? ›

Spotify pays between $0.001 and $0.008 per stream to artists. This means that if your song is streamed one million times on Spotify, you can expect to earn between $1,000 and $8,000. The average fee for streaming on Spotify in the US is $0.004.


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