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Artist Advice: How to Make Money through YouTube Ads

This article is by Brendan Moore (@webmusicguy), Founder of Receptive Music, a digital music marketing company that makes the web work for artists. He posts regularly on Receptive Music’s blog.

This post is the final post in a 3-part series on Easy Pas­sive Income for Artists.   Read Part One on iTunes Affiliates here, and Part Two on Amazon Affiliates here.

I was at a digital music event earlier this year, and was shocked to find out how many people had not heard how easy it is to monetize your YouTube channel through Ads.  YouTube will pay you for doing what you already do! Take your money!

Here’s how it works…..

YouTube offers revenue sharing for their ‘Partners’ through advertising that they show on your videos and pages.  You are eligible (in fact, they want artists!) to become a partner by filling out the Partner Application.

Please note that you cannot become a Partner if you cover songs on your channel!  You need the global rights to all video, images, and audio used on your channel.  Just don’t use anyone else copyrighted content and you will be good!

The main benefits of being a YouTube partner:

  • Gain advertising revenue
  • Advanced channel branding and design (Customize Top Banner and Side Box - See Example)
  • Access to YouTube’s Content ID, which lets you track, monetize, or block any uploaded videos using your songs

Two main types of Ads that can show…

InVideo Ads:

- Small banner pops up on bottom of screen 5 seconds into your video (users can close it)

- 300x240px Banner off to side of video


InStream Ads:

- 15 second YouTube video shown before your video

InStream ads will most likely annoy your fans, but generate good money.  If you’d like, you can disable InStream ads, so that your page and videos only show InVideo ads, which are very commonplace in the YouTube user experience, and not as disruptive to your fans.

Bottom Line:

 You’re most likely already sending your fans to YouTube.  If you’re looking for an easy way to get passive income off the traffic you receive on your YouTube videos and channel, apply to the Partner Program.

For more information, check out YouTube’s description of benefits and qualifications here.

Otherwise, click here to go apply!

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Artist Advice: How to Make Money through YouTube Ads - MTT - Music Think Tank

Reader Comments (11)

This is a tip that a lot of artists are completely unaware of. In fact, I was unaware of how this worked before reading this blog. Thanks for the clear & concise info!

August 11 | Unregistered CommenterJames Moore

Catch 22: You can't be a partner if you do cover songs on your channel. But if you don't do some cover songs, then you will not likely get very many views on your videos.

August 11 | Registered CommenterSam Bhattacharya

one question: why is this advertisement service not available in austria?

August 11 | Unregistered Commenterquestioneer

This is pretty basic, and overlooking the main thing you need for this to work. Be popular. Youtube aint sponsoring your new lil vid with 1,644 views. You better consistantly get over 100,000 views for each vid to become a partner, probably more.

And Pomplamoose are the darlings of youtube, and they're partnered. They do covers all the time. What's their execption.?

August 12 | Unregistered CommenterFreddy

"This is pretty basic, and overlooking the main thing you need for this to work. Be popular. Youtube aint sponsoring your new lil vid with 1,644 views. You better consistantly get over 100,000 views for each vid to become a partner, probably more."

A very small percentage of youtube videos get more than 100,000 views. Getting that many views consistently on a single channel is even rarer. Therefore, this is not a realistic formula for success for most independent musicians.

August 12 | Unregistered CommenterSam Bhattacharya

I should follow-up on my previous post:

What is a realistic number of youtube views for a single video? In my opinion, it is 10,000. As an indie musician, if you reach that number, then you're doing pretty good.

If you can make 100 videos that get 10,000 views on average, then you just got 1 million total views of your videos. Not bad, huh?

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

August 12 | Unregistered CommenterSam Bhattacharya

Hey Sam and Freddy,

Thanks for your comments on this. I've actually successfully gotten YouTube Partnerships with artist with WAY less than 100,000 views per video. One artist I had partnered had less than 10,000 views on his most popular video.

You are right in saying that YouTube does want you to have a decent sized audience, but the door is definitely interested to independent musicians that aren't getting the huge view numbers.

As for Pamplemoose, they've definitely gotten some love from the YouTube team, but most of their cover songs they sell as recordings as well, meaning that they have purchased some sort of use license for it.


August 14 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan

Thanks for information. While it is easier to make money if you are apartner, but for us who is not partner we can make money different ways too. here is a good read:

September 14 | Unregistered CommenterMax

YouTube video views can easily be set to other video sharing sites. They might get to see a video of its collapse, and also share links with friends. This also ensures the ratings growth. This also ensures that the winning video for "Most Watched" YouTube itself a prize. This is now one of my favorite marketing around the world, may be popular in the video very quickly. This automatically makes the video is that competitive advantage, which is to remove the other, which was not considered much.

Get Youtube Views

November 19 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal18

This is a very nice blog!
I would tweet this too!
Here are some more Idea’s for marketing you music:

Create Compelling Video
Don’t just focus on creating audio. You should be creating compelling video as well during your creative periods.
Sites like YouTube are great hubs for artists to display their live performances, music videos, tales from the road and more, in order to keep fans engaged.

Remember to create shareable content in order to help your videos spread to even larger audiences.

Try Pod casting:
Pod casting is a relatively simple technology that is being taken quite seriously by some Fortune 500 companies. And all you really need to get started is a decent microphone, a digital recorder and editing software.
Podcasts allow you to make the most of your inner impresario, plus, your show and the subscriber audience it may lure can give you an edge over competitors.

December 21 | Unregistered CommenterMusic4 cash

You have laid out some very nice tips to earn money from Youtube. I believe & agree that any business, product or service can be made successful using the power of Youtube and yes anybody can make money on Youtube but if he or she knows how to promote the videos. Because only creating videos is not enough. Think if nobody is watching your videos then how you will earn money? That's the reason not everybody is successful making money on Youtube. So, the person who is interested to earn money from Youtube should have to learn how to market on Youtube 1st in order to be successful with it. Below is an source link that explains many ways to make money on Youtube that anybody can start and can learn how to get tons of FREE targeted views and visitors to the videos as well. So anybody interested, go here NOW to learn more everything about how to make money on Youtube.

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