Youtube is there for quite a few now and has had many incredible successes. But even with billions of views per year, an insane amount of incomes and a worldwide audience and fame, the platform is still evolving.
Evolving not only on a technical aspect but also as a community.
With the drama created around PewDiePie or more recently with Logan Paul, youtubers, viewers and headquarters are trying to make the platform a better and safer place to be.
Everybody from 1 year old to 100 can literally find content to suit their needs and so it then requires to have a very special attention on the way everything is operated.
What mostly is in the discussion these days is all about monetization.
As you surely know by now, you can actually make money out of Youtube.
So, you may have seen that I said “can make money”, I didn’t say that you will be set for life with that.
It is because Youtubers never really made millions of dollars out of Youtube itself. They have been self branding for years, uploading content on a daily basis, whatever their field was (gaming, makeup, music, tech…) and used this platform to make themselves a name in the whole ecosystem.
Youtubers are like entrepreneurs and therefore bank on their own brand to develop their business.
Monetization is in the discussion all the time because advertisers don’t want to put their name in poorly executed content or associate their name with people that could draw a bad attention to their brand.
Therefore, Youtube decided to limit the monetization of creators to a 4,000 hours minimum. Which means that your videos can be monetized if and only if you make at least 4,000 hours of cumulated views on your channel every month.
I have a very small channel at the moment that I upload daily content on it, around 10 minutes per video but I have around 30 views each time. This is far from being the 4,000 hours required to be monetized but why would I care since that would bring me around $0.60 per month?
Now, I understand, some people are having great channels that maybe don’t make millions of views but enough to earn around $70 a month for example, that is not a crazy income but that still pays for whatever expenses they may have of that amount.
But I want to be clear with artists that are reading this right now, I think that banking on Youtube to make money is a poor strategy because in reality, it never paid.
Even at a very high level of “recognition” in the Music Business, artists, singers, musicians, never received a check from YouTube. First because their label are making them sign a record deal based on record sales, totally eclipsing their hopes of revenues from millions of views, and because if they make millions of views without a label, their consistency is far from being enough to pay the bills.
Should we stop using Youtube, then?
Youtube is an amazing platform to actually document your journey. Therefore, I think it is one of the most strategic place to be when you are an artist.
I believe in documenting over creating. Which means, everyday, try to upload a piece of content to document your journey as a singer, a songwriter, a musician, a beat producer and document, document, document…
First because this is called self branding. Your content, being consistent will start to appear in searches and google algorithms, and later on you will be one of the content creators that viewers are looking for.
Therefore, you’ll be bringing attention to your name and then, bringing attention to advertisers.
Forget about the money that Youtube can bring or not, it just doesn’t. Big channels couldn’t care less about monetization anymore, and for those who complain, I find it a little bit ironic knowing Youtube made them, and for free. They may have paid for their equipment but never had to pay for that platform.
Focus on documenting your journey as an artist, build your brand that way and use it as a hub to bring even more awareness.