I got my YouTube Official Artist Channel tick. In this post I’ll show you how to get yours and walk you through what it all means for your channel, the good and the not so good stuff. So, want to get your tick? Stick around!
So, a while back I made a video all about how to go about getting your YouTube Official Artist Channel, but I hit a bit of a roadblock, basically I kept getting knocked back. But now it’s all sorted, and my band’s YouTube Channel has the infamous tick.
So, how did I get it?
Well, let’s quickly go over all of the requirements your channel needs to get that tick just as a reminder and then hit you with the revelation that made this process super easy.
Table of Contents
YouTube Official Artist Channel Requirements
I think the eligibility for a YouTube Official Artist Channel has simplified a bit since the last time I dived into all of this. Now you just need three things before the switch can be flicked.
Own and operate a YouTube channel that represents one artist or band
Presumably you already have this if you’re wanting your channel to be converted.
Have at least three official releases on YouTube delivered and distributed by a music distribution partner
This is the kicker really as doing this ensures you’ll get those ‘Topic’ channels that will eventually get merged into your Official Artist Channel. Just make sure you’ve selected to be on the Google Play or YouTube Music stores.
Have no policy violations on your channel
You get what this means, just don’t be naughty and have strikes etc.
So, the last time I went through all of this I was told I needed ‘Art Tracks’ on my channel which I considered to be, you know, just music videos with my album art on. They’re not that. They’re actually way more complicated and something that, after YouTube eventually told me in an email, our distributor handles. It was then that the penny dropped.
Well, that and the fact it plainly says here “If you work with a label, digital distributor, or have a partner manager, get in touch with them to get an Official Artist Channel”.
If you follow this channel, you’ll know I recently moved distributors, from Ditto Music to Distrokid and when that was finally all complete, I came across this magical page that enabled me to link my artist accounts.
I then shortly received an email from YouTube informing about all the changes that will take place, namely the merge of channels my music appears on. Hallelujah!
So, if you’re looking to get your official artist channel tick and you’ve met all of the requirements look for a setting on your distributor account page. If you can’t find it, go message them and ask for it.
YouTube Official Artist Channel Features
If you look at my band’s channel, you’ll notice I have two rows there named ‘Music Videos’ and ‘Albums’. I didn’t add these, and I can’t actually remove them. These are auto generated playlists of all of my official music content. They’re apparently organised by popularity and date.
One thing to note is that they have ads on them which I presume you’re making money on through your distributor which is pretty cool. This channel isn’t monetised as it doesn’t hit YouTube’s requirements yet, so this is a good incentive to have this on your channel.
If you’re not happy what the Music Videos tab is displaying, you can actually jump in and edit it. You can’t do anything with the Albums row but can move both of them about (note – you can only move one other row above these two rows).
When somebody searches for your music on YouTube, they should now see a ‘Watch Card’ on the right which links directly to the channel. My one isn’t appearing as yet but that just might be because it’s quite new. If you do a search for say, The Beatles, you’ll see what I mean.
I like this as it’ll help prevent somebody going to the wrong channel when they’re looking for you, especially now if they’re searching for specific tracks and they see them on the right.
Top Shelf Promotion
Now I’m pretty sure we’ve always had this feature but maybe it went away with the new design. Basically, you can choose a video to appear right at the top which will automatically play when somebody visits or returns to the channel.
This is obviously a great place to put content you want people to see first, like a new single or something that works as an introduction to your music or channel.
YouTube Official Artist Channel Analytics
You’ll now get access to analytics across not just the videos you’ve uploaded but also the videos uploaded by your distributor or label. I’ve noticed some of the changes haven’t taken place for me yet as you’re supposed to see specific music catered labels in there such as ‘Top Songs’. It might just be the fact I don’t get that much traffic there – as yet!
Anyway, one last thing to note is that you can also get to this on the mobile creator studio app in a special ‘Artist Analytics’ section, which is pretty cool – but dead for me at the minute.
The Profiles section is quite fun! Now you can add a proper profile image, a name, a biography and some gallery photos to your account. These will appear in numerous places such as the YouTube Music app, playlists and Search – although as I mentioned before, nothing is coming up for me so far.
The required image size will pop up if you just click on the little question mark next to the profile image. It’s worth mentioning because the main profile image has to be pretty big at a whopping 5120 x 2880 pixels!
The biography section’s tip is to not use any content that will go out of date, you know such as upcoming gigs or releases. It also mentions not using any hate speech which I really hope is common sense, but you never know.
If we look at our YouTube dashboard you can see, we now have a Concerts tab which is great.. if you’re in the US. That’s right, this is only for US listings at the moment but I’m sure that will change. For those in the US, linking Ticketmaster and Eventbrite will get your dates shown on a shelf below your videos but only to people where it makes sense for them geographically. So, they won’t appear for me if you’re playing a gig in Texas, for example.
And finally, we have the ability to make Community posts with the Community tab. Now this is a feature that’s normally locked off for users until they’ve reached 1000 subscribers on their channel, so it’s a nice feature to get early. With this you can post things like polls, videos, photos, anything really.
This took about a week to become available for me after my channel was verified so maybe just wait a while if yours isn’t switched on yet.
So, is an Official Artist Channel worth it?
I remember reading in the comments a while back that somebody had issues when they converted, I think mainly due to these new rows that couldn’t remove, but other than that I can’t really see a downside. If your channel is about your music, then you get the benefit of improvised search visibility, specific artist analytics and a profile to name a few. Plus, there’s bound to be more down the road.
So, Why Haven’t I Converted This Channel Yet?
So, I’ve obviously gone and made the switch for my band’s account but what about this channel? Well, I’m unsure about whether or not to make this channel an official artist channel or not as although I do put music on it, I do other stuff too.
So, I’m a bit apprehensive about it all but saying that, I’ll probably just commit and do it. Why do you think?
It’s a weird one really as YouTube says it’s great ‘cause all of your music can be found in one place and that fans will have a single place to subscribe. But they kind of caused that problem in the first place with the topic channels and now they’re fixing, well, their problem.
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