If you are a singer and you do not have a youtube channel for some reason then it is time to make one, as you are leaving a lot of money on the table. In addition to making some extra money, youtube is also great to get more people to listen to you sing, which in the long run could actually evolve into an actual singing career.
Singers make money on youtube with youtube ads, Vevo, sponsorships, affiliate sales, direct sales, selling their own merch, using Patreon, streaming and even with content ID.
The simple fact that singers can make money from youtube is simply mindblowing, only 10-15 years ago before youtube became a major success it was almost impossible for singers to make money online. There were a couple of sites back in the days from where you could download almost any song, this was the age of the MP3, the problem is that most of these sites were illegal and the actual singers didn’t get any money from these sites.
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Youtube is the second most visited website after Google, while some consider it a video search platform it has morphed into a very successful social media site and even streaming service. Today singers have more options to make money thanks to the internet, and this makes it easier to make those first extra dollars as a singer. A couple of decades ago it was a real struggle to get your first paid gig, but nowadays with the help of youtube, you can start earning money from singing as soon as you start a youtube channel.
If you have read my recent article How much do singers make per song? ( The Honest Truth ), you have probably noticed that youtube pays a big chunk of its profit to singers. Although the majority of this money goes to famous international singers, however, there are plenty of smaller youtube channels that also make plenty of money with singing. Youtube is not only great to make your first money as a singer but it also great to get exposure, the more people you get to listen to you singing the better will it be for your singing career.
The difficult part comes when you will have to upload a couple of videos a week for months on end before you get any traction and start making money. This is the part where most singers fail at making money on youtube, they simply quit way too early. What you need to understand is that for the first 6 months you will struggle, as it takes time for youtube to trust your channel. Otherwise, any spammer could make a channel and start making money with one or two videos. When making money from youtube trust and consistency is the key, you need to make youtube trust your content and by far the easiest way to do this is by uploading consistently for a couple of months. You do not even have to be a singer to use the below methods, if you want to know how to make money with music on youtube then just keep on reading the information below.
As a beginner singer, you will probably make your first money with youtube ads, although it will probably be pennies for the first couple of months. If I remember correctly you will need around 4k viewed hours in order to be able to monetize your videos. Once you get to the point where you can monetize your singing videos you will have the option to place ads on your videos. Youtube has guidelines when it comes to how the ads should actually be placed and you should follow them.
Youtubes’ main goal is for the viewer to have a great viewing experience, if your video is filled with ads people will simply leave and this, in turn, will signal to Youtube that the content is not of high quality which will affect your views. My personal recommendation is to only add one ad right at the beginning of the video, most users are familiar with these ads t the start of a video and will not be bothered by them. Youtube royalties per view will differ from one singer to another, mostly based on the actual people who are viewing the video.
What you as a singer need to understand is that making money from youtube is a marathon and not a sprint. Your main goal should not actually make money from your videos, rather you should focus on getting as many subscribers as possible. There are a lot of youtube gurus which will teach you how to get subscribers as fast as possible, some of them will tell you that you should do some giveaways where people have to like and subscribe in order to enter the said giveaway.
DO NOT do that, any channel which does that will end up with inflated subscribers numbers and any video unrelated to the giveaways will not have any views, basically, you are screwing yourself over in the long term. Generally speaking, a singer can make anything between $1000 to even $5000 per million views, this, of course, will depend on which country your videos are being watched and what genre of music you are actually singing.
If you have listened to any singer on youtube you have probably come across some videos from Vevo. Vevo works similarly with artists organizations that collect royalties on behalf of the singers, the difference is that Vevo only focuses on youtube. The problem with Vevo is that beginner singers have no chance to make any money with it, as you will need to have a contract with a record label in order to have an official Vevo video with you singing.
Although Vevo isn’t an option for most singers, with some luck and exposure you could end up being featured on their channel but for this, you need to be discovered as a singer. For more information check out my article How to get discovered as a singer ( As FAST as possible ). This is how do celebrities make money on youtube, the most successful singers actually make more money from channels like Vevo than with anything else combined.
Making money with youtube ads as a singer can have its ups and downs, one simple change in YouTube’s algorithm and your earnings could drop off significantly. Most singers, once they have some kind of following which results in around 50-100k views per video, will be contacted by certain companies to promote their products. Generally speaking, these products are digital products or even services, and depending on the stats of your channel you can make anything from $300 to even $10 000 per video.
In addition to these sponsorships, you could also leave youtube ads running alongside, although if the video is about you singing then do not do this. In the case that you also make some vlog type videos about your experiences as a singer then you could leave bout the ads and the sponsorships running on the same video, just make sure that you check the box which says “Includes paid promotion”.
As for how much money you will actually make from sponsorships is hard to say, it depends on your audience. If your audience is predominantly female then you will probably be contacted by some companies which sell beauty products or something related to a healthy lifestyle, generally speaking, these are the highest paying ones. On the other hand, if your core audiences male then your best chances of being sponsored is by companies that are more gaming or work-related, like certain apps and subscription websites.
Most singers do not actually know what an affiliate is and not that many of them monetize their singing channel with affiliate products. Most sites that are selling digital or physical products do have affiliate programs. These affiliate programs pay you a commission when somebody buys by using your link, generally, these commissions are around 4-12% although there are some products for which the commission can get a lot higher.
If you are a singer and you are wondering what kind of affiliate products you could use on your videos then the answer is simple. Take a look around the channels of singers who already have some following and you will notice that they are promoting anything from microphones to headsets. If you want to monetize your videos as an affiliate then all you need is to sign up for any affiliate site, once you are in just pick a product that you like and link it in the description of your video.
Make sure that you let your viewers know that you have some affiliate links in the description as most people do not bother to check them. My personal recommendation is to use affiliate products which you are actually using, for example, your microphone, find what kind of microphone you are using on these affiliate websites, and just link it in the description. This way if a person is wondering what kind of microphone you are using they can simply check out the affiliate link and with some luck, you might even get a sale or two.
Now you might ask yourself how can you actually sell your songs on youtube? While you can not directly sell your songs on youtube you can sign up to websites that do actually let you sell your song like iTunes or Spotify. Once you have signed up to these websites simply take the link where the user actually can buy your song and paste it in the description of the video. It is a good idea to also let the viewers know that they can actually buy that song with a simple text on the video.
The problem is that most singers do not actually think they can sell their songs on these platforms because of who is buying songs today. The truth is that most people who buy songs online are the ones that do not actually have a reliable internet connection. Once they do not have an internet connection they simply can not listen to their favorite songs, but by buying the song they can actually listen to it even without an internet connection.
Selling your own merch
Once you have gained some following on youtube you should start looking for options on how to make your own merch. This process is fairly simple as there are a lot of websites that will actually make, sell and even ship your merch on your behalf. Al you have to do is to come up with a catchy design that represents you or to pay somebody to do it. Upload the design on the website and depending on how many sales you have the better your commission will be.
One of the best sites to make and sell your own merch as a singer is Teespring, the site has changed in the past couple of years and you might want to do some research on how to sell your merch. In addition to this most of this merch, websites do offer worldwide shipping, so from where your core audience is doesn’t even matter as much but if it is anything else than the USA, Canada or UK your sales will probably be lower.
Patreon is something like a crowdfunding website, the major difference is that instead of crowdfunding a project, people crowdfund a person. This is a fairly easy way to get some money as a YouTuber, just place your Patreon link in the video’s description and set up Patreon properly. There are different tiers depending on how much money a person donates, my recommendation is not to make things overly complicated, keep it simple, and do not promise anything that you can not live up to.
There are a lot of beginner singers who would want to know what it actually means to compose a song, recording it, and editing it. As a singer, you have probably at least some experience in one or more of these subjects. All you have to do is to sign up for a streaming service and start to actually stream. There are a lot of ways how to monetize a stream, some sites offer the viewers the possibility to sign up from where you will actually get a commission.
What is great about streaming is that you can actually monetize it by most of the ways listed in this article, so you are not only limited to making money from ads or subscribers.
If you are a YouTuber you probably heard of content ID and your hair on your back is already starting to rise up. The idea of the content ID is fairly simple if somebody uploads your original song then you will have to make a content-id strike on that video which will give you all the earings from that video even if it is on somebody else’s channel. The problem is that some songs which have similar sounds lasting only a couple of seconds could get content id’d by someone else and this will make you lose all the revenue for the entire video.
Another massive problem which nobody seems to talk about is that there are a lot of companies that send false copyright strikes to channels and some even go as far as making content-id for random sounds like the wind or rain, these companies are parasites and youtube is simply not doing enough to stop them. For example, if you are uploading your singing which does include some growling or imitating the sounds of an animal then you might find that some channel related to these animals has copyright struck the video. PS if you want to learn how to growl like an animal then check out my article How to growl like a ( Lion, Tiger, Dog, Wolf or a Bear ).
On the other hand, if you have at least one popular song you will have the option to use content id to make money, but if you are not an internationally successful singer then there is simply no point in doing it. Youtube users hate content id and once you start using it for financial gain, the backlash could be significant, it is simply not worth risking everything only to make a quick buck.
When it comes to making money on youtube as a singer you have plenty of options. The problem is that if you are a beginner singer you will find it extremely difficult in getting the ball rolling and to actually start making money. Oftentimes people want everything right now, and they do not have the foresight that they will actually have to do a lot of work for months on end without any money.