Five Ways Musicians Make Money From YouTube

YouTube can be quite profitable for those who find the right audience. However, figuring out how to monetize your channel can be tricky.

Here are five ways that you can make money with your YouTube videos:

1. Ad Revenue

According to Rolling Stone, videos covered in ads can make about $2 for every 1,000 views. By partnering with the companies who want to put a 30-second commercial before your video, you can increase your revenue. For example, this Pentatonix cover video begins with an ad and has banners on the side.

2. Content ID

If your music is copyrighted, then you can make money from letting others use it in their own videos. YouTube’s Content ID option creates a compromise between musicians, YouTubers, and advertisers so that everyone gets a cut of the profits. Matty B’s cover of “Rude” by MAGIC! includes an ad and is not considered copyright infringement.

3. Increase Music Sales

Use your videos to promote the release of your music on iTunes, Spotify, or CD. By placing a purchase link in the video description, you will direct those who enjoy your music to the place where they can buy it. For King and Country placed a clickable banner for iTunes at the top of their cover of Taylor Swift’s “Out Of The Woods.”

4. Merchandise and Show Promotion

The links in your description can also lead to merchandise sales. Promote special gear to your fans with sales and limited edition items. You can also mention upcoming shows at the beginning or end of your video, like Cimorelli did before their “Fight Song” cover.

5. Kickstarter

This is perhaps the best option for those trying to raise money to record an album or travel for an audition. A link to an online Kickstarter campaign will direct your viewers who want more music to the place where they can help make it happen. As a bonus, the fans will feel more dedicated to your music if they have had a direct hand in it. For example, singer/songwriter Allie Goertz promotes the Kickstarter campaign for her concept album in this video.

Releasing videos on YouTube doesn’t have to be just a pastime. If done correctly, videos can be monetized, and creators can make a profit.

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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.

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