Musicians Should Recognize The Power Of YouTube And Act Accordingly

YouTube-logo-full_colorYouTube is a powerful platform for musicians in many ways including its strength as a streaming music service, its reach as a marketing platform and its advertising revenue. But a recent study of music fans' behavior points out that YouTube is also an important part of the customer journey to purchasing music and maybe other things as well. So musicians should make their voices heard not just on such concerns as licensing issues but on platform features as well.

The power of YouTube as an interactive streaming music service is well-established as is its potential for music marketing.

YouTube also provides revenue through advertising rev shares and links to sell music on both the original video and, though Content ID, other videos that use that music. Video annotations offer links out to monetization possibilities.

And, in a much heralded and highly overpraised move, YouTube recently added tip jars.

Song Buyers Usually Check It Out On YouTube First

YouTube also plays a role in music sales. In a report from Viacom (via Music 3.0) respondents revealed:

"83% say they make sure they really like a song before they pay for it so they won’t regret their decision later."

Reported research methods include:

"66% search for info about the song online prior to purchasing."

"87% listen to other songs from that artist prior to purchasing."

"91% listen to the song/watch the video on YouTube prior to purchasing."

So clearly what one has posted on YouTube can have a strong effect on sales. That's where a key step on the journey to a purchase can be won or lost.

YouTube is an important part of the customer journey for more than just music.

Musicians Should Seek To Influence YouTube Features

Given this importance, musicians shouldn't limit their public statements to licensing issues alone.

Instead musicians should take advantage of the fact that YouTube wants to appear to be supporting them and encourage YouTube, in a friendly responsive manner, to go beyond tip jars and not only add ecommerce services but allow for third party integration of such services.

But, however you let YouTube know what you want, don't forget to take immediate action and scrutinize your YouTube presence with an eye towards maximizing its benefits at all levels from marketing to monetization.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. We have to distinguish between the original, free version of YouTube — which was extremely useful for artists — and the next and very different version, YouTube Music Key.
    YouTube Music Key requires artists to sign away all their rights to Google, meaning that artists no longer are allowed to make exclusive iTunes releases, for instance.
    According to the leaked contract, the artist’s complete catalogue will be available for free on YouTube Music Key on release day for online *and* offline streaming, rendering iTunes sales obsolete.

  2. YouTube Music Key is not the next version of YouTube but a separate service as I understand it.
    Of course each will affect the other which is another reason that recognizing and addressing all the fronts in the struggle is key to victory.

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