How To Make Money On YouTube: A Guide for Music Artists

The ultimate guide for independent artists who want to learn more about monetizing their music on YouTube.

Written by Leni - April 14, 2020

How much money will I make per view? What happens when someone else uses my music in their video? These are some of the most asked questions we get from our independent artist community regarding YouTube. So, we decided to put together a guide for independent artists who want to learn more about monetizing their music on YouTube. 

Did you know that Amuse Pro users are now eligible for YouTube Content ID (by request)? Start earning money every time your song plays on YouTube or when YouTubers use your original songs by signing up for Amuse Pro

Alright, lets goooo 💪🏾

How can I make money on YouTube?

One of the main ways artists make money on YouTube is from ads streamed across their music videos. But, there are a few other ways to monetize your work on YouTube, including user-generated content and brand sponsored videos. We’ll go into more detail about these revenue streams a bit later on in this article. 

What is YouTube Content ID? 

YouTube Content ID is a service available by request to Amuse Pro users, helping you identify whenever your music is used in a monetized video (aka a video with ads) on YouTube and funnel you a split of the income.

FYI, YouTube Content ID is a pretty sensitive tool and only works for original music, meaning samples or any other elements that could be deemed a copyright infringement, will be denied access to YouTube Content ID.

How does advertising work on YouTube? 

Brands set up advertising campaigns directly through YouTube, and if their target audience matches your fanbase / YouTube audience, then chances are you’ll see some ads placed across your videos. 

There are 3 types of YouTube ads that can run across your videos: Pre-Roll, In-Stream and Bumper Ads. 

Pre-Roll Video Ads: This type of YouTube video ad is shown before your video, and usually runs for about 30 seconds. Advertisers are charged per click, meaning brands only pay you for the total number of clicks generated on your video, rather than its number of views. 

In-Stream Ads: These ads are shown to your audience before they view your video, but they have the opportunity to skip the video after five seconds. For these ads, you’ll be paid per view. 

Bumper Ads: These are the short-form, six-second and non-skippable clips that show before your videos. You get paid every time a user watches the ad. 

You also have the option to turn off ads or block certain advertiser categories. 

How much money will I make on YouTube?  

YouTube advertising payout rates vary wildly, so it’s hard for us to give you an estimate of how much money you can make on the platform. 

Most advertisers will pay per “impression”, meaning how many times their ad is viewed. Different types of ads also cost different amounts of money, with skippable in-stream ads generally the most expensive, followed by pre-roll and non-skippable bumper ads. 

Artists can earn around $6 USD per 1000 impressions (or “CPM” as it's known in the advertising industry, which stands for “cost per thousand” impressions). On average, about 30-40% of overall views count as “impressions”. So, if one of your videos whips up one hundred thousand video views, that would roughly give you 40,000 impressions and generate around $132 in advertising payouts (after YouTube takes their cut).

What happens if someone uses my music in their video?

User-generated content is another main way music artists make money on YouTube: meaning someone has uploaded a video that features your music. You earn money each time someone uses your tracks, and this content is picked up automatically by YouTube’s Content ID system. 

Sometimes the system can miss your song. This happens when the creator uses a super short clip of your song, or alters it just enough to make it undetectable by YouTube. It’s hard to get around this, but some artists manually comb through YouTube or hire a company that helps uncover videos that have used your music.

How do brand sponsorships work on YouTube? 

Hooking up brand sponsorships — like alcohol brands, clothing designers and music electronics brands (eg. headphone companies / studio equipment) — is a good way to make extra money from your YouTube videos. Brands will pay advertising fees in exchange for product placement, endorsements or branded content on your channel. 

The best way to hook up a brand sponsorship is to send an email to the Marketing Manager of any brands that suit your artist project, outline your video concept, audience statics and anything else to help sell yourself in (like links to previous YouTube videos, their performance and any prior brand sponsorship case studies). 

Ready to get started monetizing YouTube? Sign up for Amuse Pro

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