How do you earn money as an artist on YouTube in 2023?

How do you earn money as an artist on YouTube in 2023?

YouTube is a widely used video platform with a significant monthly active user base of 2.6 billion.

The platform presents independent artists with a considerable opportunity to promote their work and monetize their social media activity. This blog post aims to discuss how to generate revenue on YouTube, the compensation artists receive, and provide an overview of YouTube's music streaming service, YouTube Music.

The history of YouTube

In 2005, YouTube was established by three former PayPal employees: Steven Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. Initially, the app was created as a video dating platform where users could upload 30-second-long videos to introduce themselves and connect with potential romantic interests. However, the platform soon expanded to include all types of video content and was officially launched in December of the same year. By then, the website was already garnering around 8 million daily views.     

In October 2006, Google acquired YouTube and introduced a business model based on advertisement revenues through Google and paid subscriptions through YouTube Premium. They also offered video creators the option to join the AdSense program, allowing them to partner with brands to grow their advertisement revenues. At the end of 2009, YouTube joined forces with an American peer, Vevo, which increased the number of music-related videos hosted by the platform. This partnership enabled Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" music video to be the first to reach 200 million views in May 2010.   

What about YouTube music?  

YouTube Music is a streaming service available since 2015, replacing Google's original music platform, Google Play Music. It is a paid subscription service that operates similarly to other digital streaming platforms (DSPs) such as Winamp, Apple Music, Tidal, or Spotify. The service offers users ad-free music streaming, audio-only streaming, and downloading for offline playback.  


How much revenue can you generate from YouTube Music? 

As an independent artist, you can distribute your tracks on YouTube Music via a digital distributor, such as DistroKid, TuneCore, SoundOn, or Winamp for Creators. Doing so will help you reach a broader audience and earn royalties based on the number of streams your tracks receive, depending on the contract that ties you to your distributor. The master royalties will be paid directly by your digital distributor. However, to recover copyright royalties for these same tracks, you must join a collection society like Bridger.   

Artists on YouTube Music reportedly earn $0.008 per stream. It means they need 125,000 streams to make $1,000. You can also earn royalties when another creator uses your music on YouTube or YouTube Music. To receive these royalties, you must request a YouTube Content ID when you upload your tracks to your digital distributor account. Once the ID is added, both platforms will scan all videos to find where your work was used to pay you automatically. The process can take up to six months due to the sheer volume of videos hosted on YouTube.   


How much can you earn on YouTube? 

YouTube is an excellent platform for independent artists because of its extensive user base and the ability to showcase talents to a targeted audience. Once an artist has reached 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of viewing, they can easily monetize their account through various YouTube programs.  

Once you have amassed a sufficient number of followers and viewing hours on YouTube, you can activate your membership in the YouTube Partner Program. To do so, navigate to your "Account Settings" > "Monetization" > "Channel Settings" > "Enable My Account" and create a Google AdSense account which will serve as your YouTube piggy bank. You can then set your monetization preferences. 

To estimate your potential earnings from the YouTube Partner Program, go to your dashboard and click on "Analytics" > "Revenue" > "Monthly Estimated Revenue Chart". 

While the exact payment per ad viewed may vary between advertisers, Influencer Marketing Hub estimated in January 2023 that channel owners typically receive between $0.10 to $0.30 per view, with an average of $0.18 per view. Keep in mind that payments are based on ad views and not video views. As a result, while you can earn around $18 per 1,000 ad views, you will only earn approximately $3-5 per 1,000 video views. 

For indie artists looking to secure sponsorships, it is necessary to target brands that align with their artistic vision and/or personality. It's important to have an engaged audience, meaning that the size of your subscriber base is less important than the frequency with which your audience interacts with your content. 

There are three types of YouTube sponsorships: product sponsorships, affiliate sponsorships, and paid sponsorships. In product sponsorships, you receive free items in exchange for featuring or reviewing them in your videos. In affiliate sponsorships, you receive a tracked link that generates revenue each time someone clicks it. In paid sponsorships, you receive both payment and free items. 

If you are already a member of the YouTube Partner Program and live in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom, you can activate these sponsorships by joining YouTube Brand Connect, which functions as a creator-brand network. 

For more information about content creation and monetization, check out Winamp for Creators

The key elements to keep in mind:

YouTube is a popular video platform with a monthly active user base of 2.6 billion. Independent artists can monetize their social media activity on YouTube through various YouTube programs and YouTube Music. Artists on YouTube Music reportedly earn $0.008 per stream, and on YouTube, payments are based on ad views and not video views. Indie artists looking to secure sponsorships must target brands that align with their artistic vision and/or personality. 



Little Summary :

  • YouTube offers monetization opportunities for artists through ads, YouTube Music, and merchandise sales.

  • The YouTube Partner Program allows monetization with 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of viewing, with estimated earnings of $0.18 per view.

  • Indie artists can secure sponsorships, including product, affiliate, and paid sponsorships, through YouTube Brand Connect.


6 minutes

8 November 2023

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