When you distribute your music as an independent artist on the internet, you’ll often find that your music shows up in a few places you didn’t anticipate.
On YouTube especially, artists find that their songs and albums end up on pages that are called “Topic Pages.”
Even when you have your own YouTube Channel already set up as a music artist, you will still find your songs on a page posted by your distributor.
How can you most benefit from people listening to your songs on YouTube?
In terms of royalty money paid to recording artists and songwriter, we all know the amount is very low. But at the same time, YouTube is always reported to be the number one location where people listen to music all over the world.
Most recent royalty data shows the following:
· 1 play on YouTube in October 2020 generated $0.000277 rate; total received $0.000200
How many streams is that to generate a dollar? For this particular composition that has one co-writer, it would take 5000 streams to generate one dollar of income.
In my recent experiment with advertising on YouTube, I spent $350 and received 17,000 total plays on my song.
"I Am Saved" words and music Pete Garfinkel and Amanda Colleen Williams.
As you can see, in terms of direct return on investment, the money in / money out scenario is not visible unless you count qualitative variables like exposure, brand awareness, and possible purchases / streams off platform in some cases.
On my recent trip to Romania, it was shocking to learn that unless an artist’s music was distributed to YouTube, music lovers weren’t able to listen to it in many cases.
Spotify was just getting started when we were there in 2018, but even with other companies entering the space, YouTube is still by far a global leader as a provider of recorded music.
How can you benefit from your music being on the Topic Page instead of your actual artist profile, so you can at least try to build a relationship with those fans?
You can do a couple of simple things to make sure fans of your music are able to find you, and not just more of the same kind of videos served up by the algorithms.
First is to comment on your video from your official artist page. People who like your song will see your comment and click through to your actual profile.
Another thing you can do is to add those videos to a Playlist, and then post those to your own page.
That benefits your official profile by making sure your songs show up there for your visitors, and you can also create additional content for your visitors to keep them engaging with you on or off the platform.
For example, if you have a song that has been distributed from DistroKid to Google Play, your song will automatically also be sent as a video to YouTube, Google Play’s partner platform.
DistroKid runs ads against your video content, and if you opt in to their system, you can pay an extra $4.95 per year plus 20% of your YouTube ad revenue from matches they detect, and you are allowed to participate in the Content ID program where you can more easily find and earn royalty money when your song is used elsewhere on the YouTube platform by other users.
If you do not opt in to this feature, your videos are still sent to YouTube and appear on the Topics Page.
This is why it’s important to maximize your fan experience to help them easily click through to your official profile page when they are enjoying your music on the YouTube platform.
These simple things can help you to make the most of your distribution to the widely used platform, and instead of only relying on the direct royalty income provided by the service, you can build a relationship with fans who discover you on the popular platform, while providing value for everyone involved.
Got other tips for new music business entrepreneurs? We look forward to reading your comments.
If you're looking to distribute you music independently to all digital music retailers including Pandora, iHeart Radio, and more, here's an affiliate link to get 7% off when you sign up for DistroKid, and the author earns a $10 bounty. #commissionsearned #affiliate