How to... promote your music on YouTube and VEVO

Music videos are an increasingly important promotional tool for artists and labels. There are some simple steps you can take that won't cost you a penny but will ensure you are well represented on YouTube, VEVO and other visual and social media channels. Find out more...

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 20 Feb 2013
  • min read
Caroline Bottomley (below, right) is founder and manager of Radar, an award-winning global network connecting record labels, artist and professional music video directors. She regularly speaks at events about music video promotion and judges the UK Music Video Awards.

She recently chaired a panel at industry conference Midem, with guest speakers Eric McKay (business development, VEVO), Connie Meade (label manager, Infectious Music), Stephen O'Regan (founder, Balcony TV) and Patrick Ross (label services, Kobalt). Here are some of the top tips they shared…

The importan
ce of Youtube
Having a YouTube presence is essential for the following reasons:

  • Availability: Youtube is the primary search tool for music on the internet

  • Shareability: it’s easy to share and embed from Youtube so your videos can provide content and conversation points on your other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

  • Monetisable streams: Youtube loves music videos and encourages partnerships with labels and artists, which could bring you financial benefits. YouTube is also licensed by PRS for Music, so you could earn royalties when your videos are played.

  • Statistics: radio decisions regarding playlisting are commonly based on Youtube stats, while record labels, managers and publishers use stats as an important popularity indicator when signing new acts.

How to become a Youtube partner
Youtube is making it increasingly easy to become a partner, which means you can earn money from your video views. Partnership also improves search rankings for videos in your channel. Visit to find out more.

There’s a myth you need to have over 100,000 views to become eligible, but this isn’t true. Youtube wants more quality music content in the partnership scheme, so get registered.

A Youtube don’t
If there are several YouTube accounts that could host your video, pick one and go with that. Don’t split views between accounts because it will make your stats look worse. Always upload the video to your Artist channel and ‘favourite’ it in the Record Label channel. Favouriting means the video will show up on the label channel, but the views all aggregate on the artist video.

Pros and cons of monetised ads

  • There are two kinds of advert: the 30 seconds pre-roll which is very intrusive but high earning, and the five second skippable banner advert.

  • You earn money from allowing pre-video adverts in YouTube. But videos with adverts are statistically less likely to ‘go viral’. Artists and fans hate adverts and, as sharing is often the most important metric for a video, think carefully before agreeing to adverts.

  • You don’t need to be ‘on’ or ‘off’ with adverts - Infectious Music doesn’t run ads for the first two weeks of a new artist’s campaign - it consider adverts to be off-putting to fans of new acts.

  • Monetised videos become unavailable to German and Chinese fans, due to lack of licensing agreements in those territories.

Pros of VEVO

  • VEVO is the biggest global network dedicated to music visuals

  • It offers a dynamic recommendation service viewers - who stay longer and watch more.

  • There are higher earnings for partners and VEVO will even do special promotion projects with the right partners

  • The platform likes independent artists; there are many ways for independent artists to get onto VEVO, for example via The Orchard.

Cons of VEVO

  • You have to upload a new master file for the platform to be able to host your video so you’re splitting views across Youtube and VEVO

  • The adverts are more intrusive

  • You can’t opt out of adverts by type for example, you can’t opt out of receiving alcohol adverts

  • VEVO works better for some kinds of artists than others

Packshot and lyric videos
It’s useful to have all your tracks on Youtube - if you don’t then someone else will. Packshot videos are quickest and cheapest way to do this. If quality content is important, lyric videos are a good solution. Always service a video when you’re going to radio.

Video for promotion and discovery
Channels such as Balcony TV can deliver an audience, but don’t yet deliver monetisation. They can be very useful for new artists, where growing a fan base is more relevant than monetising views.