How do Musicians Make Money on YouTube

There are numerous music streaming services in the world, but none of them come close to YouTube. With a staggering number of 2 billion monthly users, this platform is a hot spot for the recording industry and for people who want to listen to any kind of music at any time of the day. But, do artists make money from YouTube? Of course, this platform can be an income source, but there is so much more to know about this topic before you start working on your videos. So, keep reading to find out how much you can make and how you can monetize your songs. 

Do Music Channels on YouTube Make Money?

Yes, both independent artists and recording artists signed by labels can earn money from music on YouTube. Although this isn’t the main source of income for most creators in the music business, it can be an excellent way to earn extra money since you’re already releasing music. However, only rights holders can make income from this popular streaming service, meaning that you have to own the audio tracks (master recording and publishing) in order to monetize them. 

So if your question was “Do artists make money from YouTube?”- the answer is yes! If you want to find out how YouTube can help your music career and help you earn passive income, we have all the answers below. 

How Much Does an Artist Make per View on YouTube?

How much you’ll make on YouTube depends on many factors, so there isn’t a single formula that will calculate your potential income. Additionally, the platform offers different ways to earn, and the final payment can vary depending on the engagement, whether you have featured artists in the video, producers, etc. 

YouTube’s payout system isn’t as simple as it sounds because music content on this platform can help you earn through various channels. One part of your payouts will come from Premium users and YouTube Music streams, and the earning is around $0.008 per stream. 

The per-stream payout is divided into two sections. The first one is from the views you get on your official channel and the second one on your Content ID videos. The average stream payout for per-video channel views is $0.00164, while Content ID streams bring you $0.00087.

Advertising payouts are another group that determines how many times viewers see an ad. The average payout in this category is around $6 for 1000 impressions. 

Although YouTube’s stream rate is lower than other digital services, this platform has the highest number of users, therefore a much broader audience to offer. Music artists signed to minor and major labels have to share their earnings with a lot of other people, including the record label, producers, lawyers, other artists, and more. Popular artists might get millions of views, but as you can see, everyone else included in the process gets a piece of the pie. 

How to Monetize Your Songs on YouTube?

How do musicians make money on YouTube? If you’ve been a part of the music industry for a while, but you’re still not sure how YouTube works, tag along the ride. As we mentioned before, there are various ways you can earn on this platform. But, first things first! You can only make money if you’re a copyright holder, meaning that you own the sound recordings and publishing rights for the music. 

Back in the day, the most common way artists earned was by constantly being promoted on radio stations, so that they could boost album sales. Things have changed a lot since then, and these days, online ads are one of the most popular ways to make money. 


Ad-supported streams are one of the most common income sources for YouTube channel owners. If you decide to become a part of the YouTube Partner program, you can turn on the monetization option and earn from ads. Brands are willing to pay YouTube to show their advertisements; then, YouTube places them on your videos. There are three main types of ads you can expect to see: 

In-Stream Ads

This type of ad appears before your video starts, and you get paid for each view. Viewers have the chance to skip the ad. 

Pre-Roll Ads

These advertisements appear right before the start of your video and are around half a minute long. You’ll only get paid from these ads when your viewers click on them, but not when they view them. 

Bumper Ads 

One can’t skip bumper ads, and you get money for every view. 

Art Tracks

Art Tracks are another way that your content can bring you money. This, however, isn’t the best alternative for a video creator because it includes the most basic videos with a single picture and music in the background. All content owners can earn, even if they don’t have music videos. Art Tracks are a part of the YouTube Music program, so your credit score goes up each time someone plays your music. 


According to a recent article by Digital Music News, there are various revenue streams for content creators on YouTube and music channel owners; however, the highest income often comes from user-generated content. In other words, you earn certain amounts of money each time someone else uses your music in their videos. The Content ID system is supposed to notice when other users utilize your music, but it’s not always as meticulous as it should be. There are various music distributors like CD Baby that you can work with to get a cut of the royalties. 


Have you thought about doing videos with lyrics and making money from those? Well, it’s not going to be that easy. According to copyright law, you can earn from this video only if you’re the rights owner of the song the lyrics are meant for. So it’s definitely tricky territory, and you have to know the law well before you start uploading videos. 

Monetizing Your Music Beyond YouTube

What are the other ways you can make money with music if you don’t want to use YouTube? Let’s start with the fact that you can explore multiple other digital music services, so if this platform isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll find other places to share your work. Here are some potential ideas you can use to 

  • Host private classes and lessons online: various platforms like Zoom can make the experience effortless and help you earn without leaving your home. 
  • Brand sponsorships: you can team up with different brands, and they can pay you to advertise their products. This is a potential way to earn on YouTube, but you can do it on other platforms as well. You can get in touch with companies in your niche, for example, guitar brands, and let them know what you have to offer and why they should collaborate with you. 
  • Monetize your work on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify
  • Do online concerts on Zoom, and other platforms


How do musicians make money on YouTube? As you can probably already guess, music and video content can be a lucrative business, but the pay depends on many factors, including average streams, collaborators, producers, engagement, etc. Your favorite artists probably have millions of views, many successful collaborations, other sources of income, millions of albums sold, etc. If you want to get to where they are, YouTube is a great place to start. So far, major names like Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes were discovered on this platform, so why not give it a try?

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