Monday, 18 October 2010

Musicians Wanted: Now Worldwide

Earlier this year we announced the US launch of the YouTube Partner Programme (YPP) for Musicians, aka Musicians Wanted. Today we are happy to reveal that the initiative has been extended to more territories, offering independent acts from Sweden to New Zealand the opportunity to make money from their YouTube uploads.

Users in Canada, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, the UK, Sweden, The Czech Republic, Argentina and New Zealand now have the opportunity to apply for the ability to serve ads alongside their work and collect a share of the revenues created. Here is a recap on on the programme from YouTube musician extraordinaire Jack Conte and singer Nataly Dawn (aka Pomplamoose):

So, if you are a musician based in any of the territories listed above – or if you’re based in the US and haven’t done so yet – head to the sign-up page and register for the programme. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose and potentially a whole lot to gain.

Have fun,

Jamie Dolling, YouTube UK, recently watched “Professor Green: The Next 48 Hours”.


Dave said...

We've had this in the UK for years surely? Or is this different to the normal partner program?

Todd said...

It's nice that YouTube claims it wants to help independent musicians, but that's not really the case. The Music Tuesday channel is the only form of music promotion which still exists on YouTube. But pretty much everyone you promote on there is a musician who primarily posts covers of popular songs (rather than original songs which YouTube can get advertising revenue from) or they are already-established musical acts who don't need your help.

Musicians like me, who are Partners and have gained thousands of subscribers by posting only original material--no covers--and have never been featured or spotlighted on the YouTube homepage are the ones you should be helping. If you're serious about helping independent musicians, then change your promotional methods.

Jamie said...

@Dave: This is a slightly different programme -- but don't worry, as you don't need to reapply. This makes it possible for small record labels to join the programme, for example, or channels that are exclusively music-based. @Todd: Feel free to drop us a line at the UK Music Tuesday channel to put forward your suggestions for what we should do next. It may also be worth subscribing, as we have a project in the pipeline that may (or may not) appeal to you. Jamie

Todd said...

@Jamie, thanks for the response. I have sent messages there before and have even been in touch with several YouTube executives in the US about their music promotions, but their line is that the business guys have nothing to do with editorial decisions. So it's down to the music editors to make some changes if they're serious about promoting/helping independent musicians.

When the Music Tuesday channel was created, it became the bottleneck for all music promotion on YouTube--there are no more regular featured or spotlighted videos on the YouTube homepage. And the Music Tuesday channel only promotes independent artists once a month (the new Partners promotion). This does nothing to help older partners like Dave (above) and myself. And, moreover, the people who are chosen to be promoted as Partners are invariably people who predominately upload covers of popular songs--which YouTube cannot use for advertising revenue--or they are oddities/novelty acts rather than people making music in popular genres who might actually have success with the average YouTube viewer.

YouTube needs to do more to discourage covers of popular songs, which is a legal minefield and of no real benefit to YouTube in terms of advertising revenue. Measures should be taken to modify the search algorithms so that priority is given to original content and that covers are more difficult to find.

There is still no substitute for being featured on the YouTube homepage; with such a feature you can accomplish in one day what takes years of hard work and word-of-mouth.

As for how to choose which channels to promote, there are several quality metrics I would propose: the most obvious is the ratio of subscribers to video or channel views. The lower this ratio, the higher the likelihood that a typical YouTube user enjoys that channel's content. Another would be a simple time series estimate of the persistence of view counts (my PhD is in mathematics, so I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to analysis).

I don't think YouTube has a very good system for *finding* who they should be promoting. I realize I am tooting my own horn here, but in both of the above metrics, I am certain that my channel outperforms nearly all other music channels in the global YouTube network.

Finding channels which are liked with high probability and promoting them is a win-win for YouTube--if you help users find good channels, they will watch more videos and hence there will be more advertising revenue.

That's just my two cents ;)

Todd said...

*oops I meant "the higher this ratio". time for bed! :)

Jamie said...

@Todd: OK, I think that you may be confusing what we do here in the UK with the set-up in the US, but that's eminently understandable. As for Music Tuesday (UK or otherwise) being a bottleneck, the programme came into being in the wake of a wide-ranging product change on the homepage... switching from Featured videos to Spotlights, changing the way we approached the whole project in the process.

However, it's good to hear that you are still keen to receive homepage curatorial coverage, so let's work towards finding a way to make that happen within the wider context of what we're looking to achieve with Music Tuesday. Which, just so you know, is to highlight the depth of the music catalogue here on YouTube, be it UGC, indie or major label produced.

While UK Music Tuesday collections may be fronted by well-known musicians, hopefully you only need to look at playlists produced by acts like Imelda May, Magnetic Man or Rox to see that we're looking to go beyond promoting their latest output. Sons Of Admirals produced a great selection a few weeks ago and there is no reason that you shouldn't be in a position to do likewise... just drop us a line at and pitch your ideas. Although if you keep your eye on the channel (and we can manage to produce a half-decent callout video), you should find that there is an easier mechanic to achieve this in the near future.


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