Do you know 93% of popular content on YouTube is music videos?
Just like MTV in the yesteryear of entertainment culture, YouTube is the go-to place for all music video content, album releases, and live music.
YouTube has had music on its platform for what seems like forever, with old pirates of songs, dance tutorials, and album reactions, and none of that has seemed to change.
But now, with YouTube Premium, YouTube Music, and official music channels, music is a highlight on the platform.
If you want recognition and promotion for your music, you should consider getting an official artist channel on YouTube.
This article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to get an official artist channel on YouTube, from eligibility and requirements to access your account and get started.
What is an official artist channel?
A YouTube Official Artist Channel (OAC) streamlines all the information, content, and analytics a musician has on YouTube, making it easier for fans to learn more about an artist through their collective work.
Once an artist is accepted as an official artist, all their video content on YouTube becomes consolidated into a single channel. They can also get additional features like being able to post merchandise and tour links.
How can I qualify for an official artist channel?
There are three mandatory steps you need to follow to qualify for an official artist channel.
- Manage or own a YouTube channel belonging to an artist or group. It may take longer to certify if you already have an existing channel or channels and want a separate new channel to become your Official Artist Channel.
- Have at least one officially distributed video. You should have at least one song or music video released directly onto YouTube through a music label or distributor. Labels and distributors may have specific qualification requirements based on the number of official videos you have posted to YouTube.
- Follow YouTube Guidelines. YouTube is a platform open to people of all ages and interests. So, double-check your videos to see if they follow YouTube’s copyright policy, community guidelines, and terms of service.
Additionally, you should meet at least one of these requirements:
- Have an Active YouTube Partner Manager
- Participate in the YouTube Partner Program (although you don’t have to post videos actively.)
- Be Listed Under a Qualifying Label Network
- Have Music Distributed Through a Qualifying Distributor
How do I apply for an official artist channel?
How you apply for the Official Artist Channel program depends on who you are affiliated with.
Artists generally have three routes for getting an OAC: applying through a label, a distribution company, and the Partner Program.
Groups and artists signed to a label have the highest chance of getting their applications accepted, processed quickly, and having the most straightforward application process.
Your application will qualify if your label is part of a YouTube-partnered label network.
Simply, get in touch with your manager, label partner, or label directly and tell them you want an Official Artist Channel, and they will handle the rest.
Artists who have uploaded music content to YouTube directly through a distribution company like DistroKid or Tunecore should have a specific section in their account directly related to YouTube where they can apply.
This is the trickiest option for musical artists or groups that want to create an original channel for their OAC.
Because your channel that is linked will be one that you already uploaded to, and you need at least one video uploaded through a distributor to qualify for an OAC.
If you are already part of the YouTube partner program, contact your Partner Manager for more information and to submit your application.
Which of the three routes is the most accessible for an independent artist?
If you are a smaller independent artist, you likely are not making large amounts of money in the first place and are probably looking to get an Official Artist Channel to advertise your music to get a record deal in the future.
This likely means that you are not part of a record label, so that option is not recommended.
You should consider applying through a distribution company or the YouTube Partner Program if you are an independent artist.
As long as you have paid a distribution company to release one song on YouTube, along with other platforms, you should be able to qualify for an Official Artist Channel.
In the long run, the time it takes to get viral and partnered through the Partner Program or get on a label costs more than the distribution and royalty fees for a single song.
Any YouTube channel that follows the community guidelines, has over 1,000 subscribers, 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months, and an AdSense account should be able to qualify for the Partner Program.
Artists definitely are going to want to monetize their videos anyways on YouTube, so they might as well be partnered.
In general, applications sent in by YouTube Partners are processed more quickly than through distribution companies.
However, small musicians with minimal YouTube presence should use a distribution company to send in their applications.
How do I know if a YouTube channel is an official artist channel?
Given that applications for official artist channels and management of your YouTube are typically done through your record label, you should keep in touch with your label for more information on this subject.
Those who plan on managing their own channel and that know they meet the application requirements should frequently check your email and messages for updates.
Independent artists who are part of the YouTube partner program should reach out to the YouTube Creator Support Team or their Partner Manager if they have one. Applications can take up to a month to process and be accepted.
If you have access to your YouTube channel and it is an OAC, you will have extra features that you traditionally wouldn’t have on a normal YouTube channel.
Furthermore, any additional channels you own with your music will be deleted.
Official artist channels always have a music note next to the channel’s name. On the desktop version of YouTube, if you hover over the music note, it should say “Official Artist Channel.”
What are YouTube’s policies for official artists?
An Official Artist Channel that gets a community guideline strike automatically becomes a standard channel.
That means you lose all your extra analytics features, the extra promotional ability for concerts and merchandise, and lose functionality with YouTube Charts and YouTube Music.
To avoid getting a strike, prioritize reviewing the community guidelines before uploading a video, short or going live.
Most of these policies are common sense, but if you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to YouTube Support Staff.
Many musicians release videos and songs with mature subject matter.
If you are one of those artists, ensure your video is age-restricted to make it inaccessible to children. This also includes thumbnails, video tags, and video descriptions.
Additionally, avoid including content that can be construed as misinformation, even in a satirical way. Channels with hateful language, behavior, or spam may become inaccessible or demonetized.
Why Should You Get an Official Artist Channel on YouTube?
If you’re an artist, you want to be found. But how do you get the eyeballs to land on your page?
It would help if you had a channel that is easy to find and would get people excited about what you offer—and that’s where an official artist channel comes in. These are the benefits of having an OAC on YouTube:
If you have a YouTube channel and want to get the most out of it, you need to think about making your videos discoverable. If viewers can’t find them, they won’t watch them!
An official artist channel on YouTube can help you reach new audiences and build a following. With an official channel, you can share your professional appearance and show off your music.
You can also use it as a direct source of communication with fans, which is essential for promoting new releases and keeping them informed about your activities.
In addition, YouTube allows you to earn money from advertisements for your videos, so if you want to promote yourself without relying on less reliable ads on your website or social media accounts, this may be the right option.
You have to market your music! That’s why most successful artists have an official artist channel on YouTube: it’s one of the easiest ways to ensure that potential collaborators and potential investors hear your music.
Know Your Audience
You’ve probably already done this—you know what kind of content your fans like to see on your channel, right?
But just in case not all of your fans are familiar with the types of things you do on camera, it’s time to start thinking about how you can build an audience for yourself on YouTube. And one way is through an official artist channel.
An official channel for your music is an opportunity for you to connect with potential fans directly.
It’s a way for them to learn more about who you are and what makes your music so unique while providing a direct connection to what they’re looking for when they visit YouTube or Google Play Music.
Getting an official artist account makes sense because it gives you access to all the tools necessary for creating quality content that appeals directly to them: commenting systems and community features such as subscriber lists and pages dedicated solely to comments from people who follow your channel.
You can also use this platform to sell tickets online or offer free samples of new songs. The possibilities are endless!
Sell Concert Tickets
An official artist channel will allow people who might be interested in purchasing tickets from their favorite artists to get an immediate impression of just how great those shows will do.
For example, having an official artist page lets you sell tickets right from there! This can be especially beneficial if you plan to sell concert tickets in person or through other channels.
It also allows fans who may not be able to make it out in person because of work schedules or other obligations to feel like they can participate by purchasing tickets online.
This can help increase the likelihood of those sales happening as well.
You’ve probably heard about how awesome YouTube is for your music career. But did you know that it can also help you get more fans, press, and gigs?
The first thing that many people think about when they want to start a YouTube channel is the number-one goal: making money from their videos.
And while this is one way that artists can make money from their channels, there are other reasons why having an official artist’s channel on YouTube could benefit you.
Get Free Promotion From YouTube
YouTube is the world’s biggest and most popular video platform, growing fast. That means more people are watching your videos than ever before and looking for more content from you.
Getting an official artist channel on YouTube is a great way to help you get more eyes on your work without spending tons of money on advertisements or marketing campaigns. It helps your reach grow quickly as well as expand over time.
When someone clicks on one of your videos from YouTube, they’re taken directly to where they need to go to watch more videos by that artist (or artists).
So, if any other artists have similar content produced by their channels, you’ll have access to viewers from all over the world who are interested in seeing what each channel has available! This means greater exposure for everyone involved.