Setting up your Artist channel
It’s common for your music on YouTube to be uploaded to different channels across YouTube and managed managed by a label, publisher, or your wider team. But if you want streamline your music or have more control over how and where it appears, you can setup your own proprietary channel and customize it. Learn how to create your own presence on YouTube and help your videos get discovered.
Take control of your presence on YouTube
Owning and operating your own YouTube channel can help you get your music out there, on your terms.You can use YouTube as a place for experimentation, to express creativity, reach new audiences, build deeper connections with long-term fans, and as a portfolio to share your music with potential business partners. You can interact directly with your audience and access YouTube Analytics. Check out these step-by-step instructions for setting up a channel.
Once your channel is up and running, you can customize it to reflect your style and branding:
Channel name - Typically this is your name or your band’s name, unless your channel will be super genre-specific. For example, if you plan on only uploading videos of live recordings. Then, consider naming it accordingly.
Banner art - The image across the top of your channel that (usually) aligns with your band or Artist brand. Tip: Update banner art to promote upcoming album releases or tours.
Channel icon - The image that visually represents your channel across YouTube. It’s a good idea to make it as recognizable as possible.
Channel trailer - The video that sits prominently at the top of your channel’s home page. It’s common to put your most recent release or most popular video there. Essentially, it should sum up your sound.
Featured content - The video or playlist you can choose to feature across your entire inventory of videos.
Featured channels - Channels you feature along the sidebar of your channel. Usually these are channels you want to be associated with, other channels you own, channels from artists you like, tour with, or share a label with. etc.
Channel sections - A way to visually organize your videos on your channel.
- Operating your own YouTube channel allows you to express your creativity, expand your audience and can be a resource to share out to promoters and for other business opportunities.
- Channel design should reflect your brand.
See it in action
One destination for all of your music on YouTube
Official Artist channels are a new feature open to eligible channels owned and operated by Artists, managers or your label. (This tool will open up to all channels in xx/xx.) Click here to see if you’re eligible today or to sign up for the wait list
Official Artist channels bring all of your music onto a single channel and provide a new visual layout that you customize. Fans can listen to your entire discography in one place. And you pick what your audience sees first.
A promotional shelf sits at the top of your Official Artist channel. Below that, sit two automated shelves to organize your music by: ‘Official Music’ and ‘Artist Discography’. Whenever a listener or viewer searches for your music or name, your Official channel will be at the top of search results.
When you opt in for an Official Artist channel, you’ll be able to verify and sync the display data associated with your channel and Artist name across Google and YouTube. This will also unify your branding in search results--and it’s easy to update! Get your Official Artist channel and take control over how your music is organized and displayed on YouTube.
Eligibility criteria for an Official Artist Channel as of March 2017:
-You must have (or create) your own Artist channel
-Released 1 album and uploaded 3 videos to YouTube.
-If you’re not currently eligible, don’t worry, Official Artist channels will be available for all music channels soon.
5 tips for getting discovered
You can increase your videos chances of getting discovered on YouTube by making a few strategic decisions as you upload videos and music to YouTube. Here are 5 easy tips that can help your music get heard more on YouTube and grow watch time, subscribers, and, ultimately, your music fanbase.
Take photos during your video shoot you can use as thumbnails for your video. Thumbnails work best when they give enough info about a video so that viewers can make a solid choice about whether or not to watch a video. Tip: Thumbnails will appear really small on mobile so make sure they’re identifiable big and small. Learn more.
Upload your highest quality audio! YouTube does its best to present your music in the richest format. Some regions have challenges with bandwidth, so we adapt the track based on signals from the back end so the end user gets the best quality of audio and video. Tip: If you’re uploading art tracks, we recommend that you upload audio to YouTube in uncompressed 24-bit wav files, as this will give us the maximum flexibility needed to present your work with as much fidelity as possible.
After you upload a video, title your video and add a relevant description. Titles and descriptions help listeners and viewers decide what to click on and help determine where your surface in search results. Consider naming your video with the most searchable terms, like your name or band’s name and the track name first. Tips: distinguish between ‘official’, live, lyric, cover videos, etc. Video descriptions can do double duty--describe your video and promote your tour, album, downloads, merch, and social media links.
Drop videos into a playlist to encourage longer listening sessions. Playlists can help you organize videos, curate lists for your audience to listen to, and ultimately make content more accessible to listeners and viewers. Tip: Share a video’s playlist link when promoting on social media so that after the first song is over, listeners automatically hear the next one from your channel.
Add Cards to your videos. Cards are little notifications that you can program to pop up on screen at specific moments to advertise new releases, playlists, downloads, merchandise and more. You can even poll your fans. Tip: We’ve found that end cards seem to work best with music videos.
- Quick and easy actions can help your videos and your channel get discovered more often.
- Use relevant thumbnails and plan for them during your shoot.
- Record and upload as high quality audio as possible.
- Clear title and descriptions can help your videos be found.
- Putting videos in a playlist helps stretch out listening and watch sessions.
- Cards can help you promote other videos, merch, and more.
See it in action
STRATEGIC TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONSPearl Jam’s video title, ‘Soon Forget - Live At The Showbox - Pearl Jam’ hits all the marks: it includes the title of the song, what type of video it is (live), where it was recorded, and who the band is. The video description contains relevant promotional information and links.
THUMBNAILS THAT POPAndrew Huang uses a high contrast thumbnail for his song Nebulae that highlights a dramatic part of the video.