Though YouTube has many limitations and problems it also offers a unique way to combine one's social media, music marketing, music and merch sales and concert promotion efforts with one's music and visual art. That's a lot for any website to take on but YouTube can combine all that in a single shareable video. Recently The Orchard's Scott Cohen and DIY musician Peter Hollens discussed the power of YouTube and separately made strong points in what could be taken as an argument for making YouTube the center of your music career.
Learning From YouTubers
Speakers at last month's Music 4.5: The Rise of Video conference in London addressed the lessons that musicians can take from YouTube stars.
The Orchard's Scott Cohen pointed out:
What are these kids teaching us that we’re missing? Because they’re doing things very differently to the way the music industry’s doing it.".
YouTube is their social media platform. It is how they’re getting their message out. That is how they’re engaging with their audience. And it’s their revenue platform. When was the last time you saw an artist that had a really popular tweet that went viral: how much were they paid? On YouTube, you’re making money."
The core concept of YouTube, hosting and streaming embeddable videos for free, allows one's efforts to immediately combine artmaking, marketing and social media. Add in YouTube's own advertising, plus third party services for music, merch and ticket sales, and you have an extremely shareable chunk of media that's also monetizable.
Finding Your Own Approach To YouTube
Peter Hollens recently discussed his use of multiple DIY tools and platforms for going direct-to-fan with special emphasis on YouTube:
I believe strongly that YouTube’s success as a media site is leveling the entire playing field. Any artist with the drive, talent and the know-how to create their own content can make a living doing what they love, which means more music, more art, more inspiration, and more people on this Earth doing what they were meant to do: create and inspire!"
Hollens approach does include other outlets but his core DIY combo features tools for releasing his music via YouTube, selling it on Loudr and seeking ongoing support for making more videos via Patreon
Hollens also recommends Tubular Labs for YouTube analytics.
Hollens approach illustrates that YouTube plays well with others and that one can find a mix of tools featuring YouTube that support your individual approach.
Together Cohen and Hollens make a strong case for putting YouTube at the center of your music career.
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