Think about your favorite band. What makes them your favorite? Is it their sound? Aesthetic? Personality?
It’s probably a combination of all those things, right? Well, what if I told you that YOU could create that type of mental image in YOUR fans’ heads? It’s not as hard as you think. Today, we’re going to talk about the payoffs of creating a Youtube series and how musicians can make money from their own content.
Pinegrove is a fiercely up-and-coming indie rock/alternative country band from New Jersey. They’re a brilliant group, but what strikes me most about them is actually not them at all… it’s their fan base. Everywhere you look them up, fans have left gushing comments and seem to be utterly obsessed with the entirety of the band. How did they manage this?
An arsenal of quality video content.
Pinegrove has been creating a video series for the past few months documenting the recording of their forthcoming album. The series shows not only snippets of new songs from time to time, but also features vignettes of each band member. What good does this do? Let’s break it down:
- Builds anticipation for the album. Duh, but aren’t you so much more excited about something you’ve wanted for a long time when it seems more real? Super fans FREAK OUT when they hear even just seconds of new material.
- Personalization. Fans get a better idea of WHO they’re listening to as opposed to just WHAT. You know your good buddy from college who was just such a nice guy you went to his mediocre coffee shop gigs and some of his songs seemed aaaaaaaalright just because of how nice he was? It’s like that, except the music is ACTUALLY good.
- Builds online presence. When you have a solid bank of quality content, you look more credible, plain and simple.
- Helps establish a brand. From fonts to humorous intros to the actual videos themselves, a YouTube series allows you to demonstrate consistency to your audience, and thus, establish a strong brand.
- Reach a diverse audience. YouTube reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any broadcast or cable network combined. Indie music tends to appeal to younger masses to begin with, so hitting this market full force gives you a great chance of making a lasting impression.
- Monetization. Musicians (this includes you, yes, YOU) can make money off of their original content. It’s a simple process I’ll break down in a second, but the point is, you can opt in for advertisers to utilize your content as an ad vessel and profit off of their opportunistic tendencies 😉 Go back and check out Pinegrove’s series to see some banner ads in action.
So, how do you do it? Google’s YouTube Support lays it out extremely simply:
- Sign in to YouTube.
- In the top right, select your account icon > Creator Studio.
- In the left menu, select Channel > Status and features.
- Under “Monetization,” click Enable.
- Follow the on-screen steps to accept the YouTube Partner Program Terms.
As of right now, channels that have fewer than 10,000 total views cannot be monetized, but one solid video or series can take care of that for you with some effort and promotion. Monetization accounts for ad engagement, not just views. The more entertaining your video is, the more distracted the viewer, the longer the ad runs, the more money you make. There are different types of YouTube Ads, and different ones work best for different audiences. But the biggest takeaway here is that video content is SO IMPORTANT for indie musicians it actually hurts. So go make a series! It could focus on your rehearsals for a big show, the making of an album, a tour, or whatever else you can conjure up – the sky’s the limit, and fans love originality and learning about your personality. Happy series creating!