How to Create Your YouTube for Artists Channel

YouTube for Artists opens up a world of opportunities for musicians on the platform. Unlike a standard YouTube channel, you can access features and unique customizations to set you apart from the crowd.

You must meet specific criteria to create an official YouTube for Artists channel. These standards include having at least one official music release on YouTube and adhering to all YouTube policies. Once your official artist channel is set up, you can customize the layout to offer the best experience for visitors. Additionally, you’ll have access to features such as concerts and ticketing.

If you’re ready to tap into what YouTube for Artists offers, you’re in the right place. Dive in to learn how to set up your YouTube artist channel.

Standard YouTube Channel vs. YouTube for Artists Channel

If you're a musician using a standard YouTube channel, you might have noticed some limitations in showcasing your content effectively. That's where a YouTube for Artists channel steps in to elevate your online presence.

Official Artist Channels offer tailored features that enhance your channel's layout, presentation, and potential growth. Here's what sets them apart:

  • Releases: Formerly known as ‘Albums & singles,’ the ‘Releases’ section neatly organizes all your YouTube Music for Artists releases in one place. This autogenerated section streamlines navigation for your audience, making it easier for them to discover your latest tracks.
  • Music Videos: The ‘Music videos’ section automatically compiles all your official music video content from various YouTube channels. Sorted by upload date or popularity, this section ensures your visual creations receive the attention they deserve.
  • Videos: Stay up-to-date with the ‘Videos’ section, which showcases your most recent video uploads directly from your Official Artist Channel's tab.
  • Customizable Sections: You can personalize your channel beyond the autogenerated sections. For example, you can add curated playlists and featured channels to highlight your favorite collaborations or related content.
  • Concerts & Ticketing: Eligible artists can promote their concerts and tours by displaying dates below their videos. Eligibility requires an Official Artist Channel, a music attraction ID with supported ticketers, and an upcoming concert in specified countries.

With these specialized features, a YouTube for Artists channel empowers you to showcase your talent and engage with your audience more effectively. It's a game-changer for artists looking to make their mark in the digital world.

Musician recording video for YouTube for Artists

YouTube for Artists Channel Criteria and Eligibility

To qualify for an Official Artist Channel (OAC) on YouTube, you need to meet specific criteria:

  • You must own and manage a single YouTube channel dedicated to your music as an individual artist or band.
  • You should have at least one official music release on YouTube, delivered and distributed through a recognized Music Distributor or Label.
  • Your channel must adhere to all YouTube policies, including the Community Guidelines, Terms of Service, and Copyright policies.
  • You must fulfill at least one of the following:
    • Work with a YouTube Partner Manager.
    • Be enrolled in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
    • Be affiliated with a label network that collaborates with a YouTube Partner Manager.
    • Have your music distributed by a music partner listed in the YouTube Services Directory for Music Partners.

Applying for an Official Artist Channel

You must contact your label or distributor to claim your YouTube artist channel. If you're an independent artist without representation, don't worry. You can still get an Official Artist Channel.

Simply contact a Music Service Partner listed in the YouTube Services Directory. These partners can handle the request on your behalf as part of their service for delivering your music content to YouTube.

So whether you're signed with a label or going at it alone, there's a path to getting your music the recognition it deserves on YouTube.

Now, since one eligibility criterion is to have an official music release on YouTube, you’ll also need to work with a music distributor. Sugo Music Group distributes and publishes music on various channels, including YouTube. For the past 38 years, they’ve been the go-to for several artists, so check out their distribution services.

Strategies to Grow Your Artist Channel on YouTube

Once you have your official YouTube artist channel, use the strategies below to boost visibility and interest from viewers.

Introduce Your Channel With a Bang

Adding a welcome or trailer video to your YouTube for Artists channel can significantly boost its appeal to new visitors. Think of it as your opportunity to make a solid first impression. These are some ways to make the most of this feature:

  • Highlight your best work: Your trailer should be a montage or a highlight reel of your best music clips, performances, and perhaps some personal commentary. This video should encapsulate the essence of your music and personality, giving new viewers a compelling reason to subscribe.
  • Keep it concise: The ideal length for a trailer video is between 30 seconds and 1 minute. You want to grab attention quickly and maintain interest without overwhelming the viewer. Focus on delivering a punchy, engaging introduction to your music.
  • Update regularly: As your music evolves, so should your channel trailer. Consider updating your trailer periodically to include new content or milestones you’ve achieved. This keeps it fresh and reflective of your current artistic phase.
  • Call to action: End your trailer with a clear call to action. Encourage viewers to subscribe, check out your latest music video, or follow you on social media. Make it easy for them to stay connected with your music journey.
  • Technical quality: Ensure that the video quality is high. This means good lighting, clear audio, and professional editing. A well-produced trailer can make a big difference in how potential subscribers perceive the quality of your music and brand.

By effectively utilizing a welcome or trailer video, you set a professional tone for your channel. This makes it more likely that first-time visitors will appreciate your music and engage with your content​.

Steps to Set a Trailer Video

Setting up a video trailer on your YouTube for Artists channel is straightforward. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Log in and access YouTube Studio: First, log into your YouTube account. Then, click on your profile icon at the top right corner and select ‘YouTube Studio’ from the dropdown menu.
  2. Customize your channel: In the YouTube Studio dashboard, navigate to the ‘Customization’ tab on the left-hand menu. Within the Customization section, click on the ‘Layout’ tab. This is where you can manage what visitors see when visiting your channel.
  3. Add or change the trailer: You'll see an option for ‘Video Spotlight.’ Here, you can set a video as your channel trailer. If you're setting this up for the first time, you can add a video by clicking on ‘+Add’ and selecting the desired video from your uploads. If you're changing an existing trailer, click on the pencil icon to edit or replace the video.
  4. Choose the right video: Select the video you want to use as your trailer from your uploaded videos. This video should best introduce your channel and your music to new viewers.
  5. Save changes: After selecting the video, click ‘Publish’ at the top right of the screen to save your changes.

Change Up Your Channel’s Layout

YouTube allows you to customize the layout of your channel with different sections. These can showcase your latest uploads, most popular videos, music playlists, and more.

By organizing your content into these sections, you guide visitors to explore your channel systematically. And this can enhance their viewing experience.

Think about what you want your fans to see first. For instance, you might want to prominently feature a new album, a series of covers, or upcoming live performances. Use the customization options to make these videos or playlists accessible from your homepage.

Besides standard sections like 'Popular Uploads' or 'Recent Videos,' consider adding custom playlists like 'Fan Favorites,' 'Live Performances,' or 'Behind the Scenes.' This makes your channel engaging while keeping your audience around longer by making it easier for them to find the content they love.

Leverage YouTube Premieres for New Releases

YouTube Premieres can be incredibly beneficial for boosting engagement and generating excitement around your new releases. This feature allows you to schedule video uploads, turning the moment of release into a collective experience for your audience.

When you schedule a Premiere, YouTube creates a dedicated landing page where fans can RSVP, fostering a sense of anticipation and community. As the countdown ticks down, excitement builds.

Once the video begins, the live chat feature lets viewers react and discuss the content in real-time. This interaction enhances engagement and creates a memorable event for fans.

After the Premiere, the video remains on your channel as a regular upload, ensuring it continues to attract views and engage new fans. So, the impact of your release will extend far beyond the initial launch.

Additionally, using Premieres sets your releases apart in the crowded music space on YouTube. It signals to fans that your content is worth their time and attention, elevating your brand's image and fostering a more loyal fan base.

With YouTube Premieres, artists get a blend of the immediacy of live video and the flexibility of on-demand content. As a result, you create memorable experiences around your music.

Moreover, YouTube Premieres allows you to leverage YouTube's algorithms, which prioritize content with high engagement and watch time. Therefore, this strategy can be instrumental in driving growth for your channel and increasing your visibility in the digital music landscape.

Musician uploading music to YouTube for Artists

Cross-Promote Across Social Media

Cross-promoting your YouTube content across other social media platforms is essential to broadening your audience's reach and maximizing engagement. By integrating your social media presence, you create multiple entry points for potential fans, leading them to discover your YouTube channel.

Start by identifying which platforms your target audience frequents the most. While Instagram, TikTok, and X (Twitter) are popular choices, the selection should align with where your potential fans are active.

Each platform offers unique tools and formats, such as Instagram Stories, TikTok videos, and X (Twitter) threads that can be used to share your content creatively. Therefore, when sharing your YouTube content, tailor your message and format to fit the norms of each platform.

For example, you might share a clip of a new music video on Instagram Stories with a direct link to your YouTube channel. On TikTok, you could post a behind-the-scenes look at how you created the song. And on X (Twitter), engage in conversations about topics relevant to your music.

Always include direct links to your YouTube channel and specific videos to facilitate easy access for followers. Also, use calls to action like "Watch the full video on my YouTube channel!" to encourage your followers to move from one platform to another.

Moreover, leverage the unique features of each platform to create buzz around your releases. Announce a new video premiere on Facebook, conduct a Q&A about the video on Instagram Live, and tweet highlights or catchy one-liners from your content.

Remember, the key to effective cross-promotion is consistency and interaction. Regularly update your social media profiles with fresh content that complements your YouTube channel. And actively engage with comments and shares to foster a community around your music.

Analyze and Adapt Using Analytics

To truly grow and refine your YouTube for Artists channel, regularly analyze and adapt your strategy based on the data from YouTube Analytics. This tool is incredibly valuable as it offers various deep insights. These include how your videos perform, your audience, and how they interact with your content.

YouTube Analytics breaks down your channel's performance into various metrics. For example, view counts, watch time, revenue generated, and interaction rates such as likes, shares, and comments.

By studying these metrics, you can identify which types of videos are most popular among your viewers and which ones don’t resonate. This allows you to tailor your future content to better suit your audience's preferences, potentially increasing your channel’s overall engagement and growth.

Additionally, Audience Insights can provide a wealth of information about your viewers' demographics, including their age, location, and viewing habits. This information is crucial for crafting targeted marketing strategies and content that appeals directly to your core audience.

For example, suppose a significant portion of your audience watches your videos late at night. In that case, you might consider scheduling your uploads or live streams around that time to maximize viewership.

Using this data-driven approach enhances your content quality. It also ensures your channel adapts to your audience's evolving preferences, keeping your content relevant and engaging over time.


An official YouTube for Artists channel is highly beneficial for artists. Once set up, you can employ strategies to grow your following and expand your reach. These strategies include using YouTube Premieres to promote new releases and adding a trailer to your channel.

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