As the biggest video streaming site on the internet, YouTube has quickly become the go-to place for more than just funny cat videos. Now more than ever, musicians have found that Google’s ubiquitous video site can be a great place to make extra money off their music in multiple ways. While it might seem like a dream, you don’t have to be seasoned musician to take advantage. Below are just a few of the ways you can start making money on YouTube.
Monetization / Enable Ads
The easiest way to monetizing your channel is to enable ads. The process is simple and can potentially reap you serious cash if any of your videos go viral, so there's no reason not to take advantage. After you have it all setup, YouTube will then shows ads before your videos and will give you a share of the revenue. If you're worried that enabling ads will drive some viewers away, don't be. Ads are quickly becoming the norm on YouTube (as they are everywhere else), so most visitors have already grown to accept them. Click here for more information on monetizing your videos.
Make Lots Of Videos
On average, you’ll get about $1 from YouTube’s ad revenue for every 500 views (the actual amount varies depending on several factors). This means if you want to make $100, you’d need about half a million views. Luckily, all of your videos will have ads enabled meaning the more videos you have on your channel, the easier it will be rack up your view totals. Don't wait until you have a new track add content to your channel. Upload videos of your shows, practice sessions, interviews or even the band just messing around. You might find that one type of video is more popular than others, allowing you to better cater to your audience. Even if most of your videos end up making you just a few cents, you never know when one of them is going to break through, giving you the chance to make a good chunk of ad revenue.
Grow Your Audience
After you’ve set up ads and have a lot of videos on your channel, you need to entice people to watch those videos. Try sharing them on appropriate sites like your band’s website, Facebook or even forums. And once you’ve got them to watch one video, make it easy for them to watch another. Setting up a playlist that encourages them to view multiple videos instead of just one is a great way of doing this. Remember, every video view counts.
Take Advantage Of Content ID
Not too long ago, videos that used music without permission from the copyright holder would be quickly taken down, even if the uploader had no intention of making money off their video. It didn't leave many uploaders too happy. Luckily, YouTube created a more fan-friendly solution to this problem. Instead of taking down a clip, YouTube gives the copyright holder the option of placing ads on that video and gives them a portion of the revenue. This means that if anyone decides to use your music for their graduation or birthday video, you'll get a piece of the ad revenue. While music distributors are usually in charge of setting up Content ID with YouTube, you can use a service such as INDmusic or Audiam to do the same. You can check out YouTube's guidelines for more information on artist revenue sharing.
If you're familiar with videos on YouTube, you've probably noticed links that pop up in the middle or end of videos, usually linking to other clips. These are known as annotations and can be enabled through YouTube's channel settings. And while they are a great way to show viewers related videos, they can also be used to link to other sites as well, such as iTunes or your band's web store. It's a powerful feature that allows you to market directly to your fanbase. If you don't know how to publish your music on iTunes and other similar sites, you should definitely check out our guide!
Place Important Links In Video Descriptions
Much like video annotations, inserting outbound links to your iTunes profile or band website is another great way to market your music or merchandise to your fanbase. Get creative -- along with links to any tracks used in the video, try wearing some of your merchandise such as band shirts or pins and linking to them in the description!
While YouTube is a revenue stream that can potentially make good money, you shouldn't stop there. Check out our How To Make Money Playing Music When Starting Out article or our other Musician Resources articles right here!
Your Turn to Sound Off!
What are some other creative ways to make money on YouTube?