So you’re an independent artist looking around on YouTube when suddenly you stumble across your favorite artist or band. You notice something about their channel, a music note next to their name. You might ask yourself, “how do I get one of those?’. Well, we’re here to help.
Essentially, a music note on YouTube is similar to a blue tick on Instagram; it just lets everybody know you’re legit and verified, But there’s more to it than meets the eye. You see, this simple icon isn’t just verification for your channel, it gives you access to more features you can use to promote your music. What artist doesn’t want that?
So how do you gain access? Well, in this guide we’ll go over the process of setting up an official artist channel as well as all the benefits the feature has to offer.
Getting Set Up
First & foremost, you need to understand the requirements YouTube has to set up your Official Artist Channel. There are only 2 requirements:
• You need to own & operate the channel you’re making the request for.
• You need at least 3 Official Music Videos released on the YouTube platform.
If for any reason you don’t already have 3 Official Music Videos, please check out our guide on getting a great music video and feel free to return here when you’ve finished to continue with the process. For those of you that meet these two requirements, congratulations! You’re only a few steps away from setting up your Official Artist Channel.
To get started, you’ll have to submit a request to YouTube’s artist support team in order to gain access. To do so, you’re required to email YouTube at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to introduce yourself, let them know you’re applying for an Official Artist Channel, and provide the following list of items to speed the process up!
• Artist Name
• Topic Channel URL
• At least 3 Official Music Video URL’s
• Artist Label / Sub-Label
Once you have provided them with all of these items, they are likely to reply letting you know they’ve made the request for your channel. Expect the first reply in 3-5 business days. The process of being accepted for an OAC is usually longer than one month, so don’t get discouraged if they haven’t accepted you within a week! Everyone will get the chance for their channel to be reviewed.
Benefits of an Official Artist Channel
So aside from having a music note, what else can you expect from an Official Artist Channel?
An Official Artist Channel gives you much more control over your organized content on YouTube. When you’ve upgraded to an OAC, YouTube creates channel sections for you to place a featured video & curated content on your Channel home page. They also provide auto-generated playlists for your Official Music & Albums. This will keep your fans engaged on your page for much longer than before.
A Press Kit is useful for any artist to have… It’s essentially a group of promotional materials for artists to send out for publicity & promotion. This can help you book shows, get on blogs, promote your music, and more. An EPK normally has photos of you, album artwork, new music, videos & more. To learn a little more about a traditional press kit, read our guide.
YouTube’s Press Kit feature gives you a place to upload pictures that show up on google search, YouTube search, YouTube music charts, YouTube Music app, and more. Be sure to keep these pictures relevant to your overall artist persona. This is your brand, so you’ll want to take every aspect of it seriously.
Along with photos, YouTube lets you create a biography to describe who you are as an artist. Keep this as professional as possible, you never know who might read into it. Click here for more information on how to write a professional biography.
With an Official Artist Channel, your channel will appear as a box on the right-hand side when people search for you on YouTube. This box includes an automatically created “mix” of your music content on YouTube, as well as a list of your top ten songs and a showcase for your albums. This feature can keep people listening to your music for extended periods of time, creating more engaged fans & easier listening experience.
Artist Analytics: Know Your Audience!
Artist Analytics shows you your top songs and overall views. This feature gives you a clear insight into what your audience enjoys and what type of music you might want to make more of. Some of the most helpful aspects of this feature include audience retention data, subscriber data, click-through rates, and average views per viewer. Now this all may sound confusing, but it’s a lot more simple than it seems.
Artists on the Rise: Free Promotion from YouTube
Artists on the Rise gives you an opportunity to be promoted by YouTube and reach a new audience, completely free of charge. Artists are hand-picked by YouTube, so in order to be featured here you’ll want to be sure you’re following all of YouTube’s creator guidelines, you’re uploading consistently (ideally once every 2 weeks), you have high view counts, and growing overall watch time. You’re eligible for this feature if you have an Official Artist Channel and at least 1,000 subscribers. When you’ve been featured by YouTube, YouTube will notify you via email, mobile notification, and possibly a tweet congratulating you!
As an Official Artist on YouTube, you may be eligible to showcase concert tickets on your channel. Once enabled, fans who watch your official music content will see a tab below the video containing your tour dates & an easy way to purchase tickets. To apply for this feature, you can contact your YouTube Partner Manager or send feedback to YouTube requesting the feature.