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Official Artist Channel vs. Verification
● Recommended for artist channels to upgrade to
Official Artist Channels (OAC)
● An OAC aggregates content & subscriber count
from various YouTube artist channels (official
YouTube channel, Vevo channel, and Topic
channel) into one place
● Read these best practices on OACs, and contact
your Label Manager to upgrade the channel to an
● For more information, review this blog post on
● Recommended for label and non-artist
● Once a non-artist channel reaches 100K
subscribers, you can request verification for the
○ Once verified, feature other owned
channels in the “Featured” tab on the
channel by editing channel tabs in the
Create customized, visually compelling, and relevant channel art. Channel art should reflect recent release(s), and
make the audience feel like they’re connecting with a personality, and not just a brand.
Specs: 800px x 800px
This image should be recognizable at smaller
resolutions; it will be your channel’s icon throughout
Specs: 2560 x 1440px
Add artist website, socials, merch, smartlinks, and
DSP links to the About tab. Up to 5 links will be
overlaid on desktop channel art.
Curated Channel Layout
The channel trailer is an elevator
pitch to potential subscribers. It’s
featured first on the channel and
auto-plays, so it needs to hook the
There are two customizable views:
Subscribed for returning and
already subscribed users.
Recommendation: Adding a new
release or a playlist.
Unsubscribed for new users.
Recommendation: Add channel
intro video or the most popular
Sections function as the main
organizational tool for channel
homepages. They make the
channel page easy to browse and
can be created dynamically from
● Curating from other
● Organizing content into
● Organizing videos (e.g.
popular uploads), playlists
(My Albums) or Channels
(more from my network).
Playlists should be an essential part of a channel
strategy; they increase watch-time and create another
asset that appears in search results and Suggested
● Create playlists using the channel’s videos,
videos from other channels, or a combination of
● Optimize the playlists’ metadata, and direct
viewers to these playlists via cards, end screens,
community and links, etc.
● Make the metadata work for the channel; a
strong title and description will help people find
Here’s a playlist example that shows great use of SEO.
YouTube uses the About tab to populate SEO; adding a
detailed bio and description with key terms assists YouTube
in surfacing the channel higher in search. Remember to
include the artist’s most popular songs, album names,
genres, labels, locations, milestones, and any other search
terms relevant to the artist or channel.
In the Artist Center tab in Creator Studio, add pictures and a
biography to the About tab as well as the YouTube Music
app. It’s important to keep the branding across platforms
consistent for familiarity, and ensure the channel comes
across to fans as the official source of the artist's content on
Similar to video tags, channel tags help surface the
channel in YouTube search and in other algorithms, such
as Google. For example, add the year, common
misspellings of popular song titles or albums or names,
genres, song titles, albums, geography; the more, the
better, as long as they’re relevant.
Link featured channels in the "Channels" tab to promote
other content and drive traffic between two channels.
Creating a custom URL allows fans to easily find and
remember your channel. It should be something clear and
memorable such as /ArtistName /ArtistOfficial
/LabelRecords /LabelMusic, etc. For more information on
custom URL’s, follow this link.
Video titles give viewers a sense of what to expect from a video, and
aid in SEO optimization.
● For music videos, “Artist – Song (Official
Audio/Video/Lyric Video/Behind The Scenes/ Live @ X
etc)" is recommended.
● Mention other artists or channels with @ symbol.
● For more information, read the SEO portion of this blog post.
Adding more tags to videos, the better, as long as they remain
relevant to the video (500 character limit)
● Include a mix of general and specific tags to accurately
describe each video.
● Easily misspelled words that people may be searching for,
artists names, albums, songs, the year, genre, geography,
new music tags, the type of video, etc.
Titles & Tags
Video descriptions are another way YouTube is able to utilize
SEO to help viewers find your videos.
● The first two sentences of the description are shown in
search and on the video page.
● Repeat the title info and use important keywords that
people would be searching for, information about the
project or artist (if there is a tour or a new release
● Include links to subscribe, all social platforms, links to
other videos or playlists, and any purchase links
● Add the video’s song lyrics.
● Include appropriate hashtags without spaces; the first
3 hashtags appear below the video and above the
video title. Use hashtags that are a part of a larger
searches, such as “#NewMusic, #Artist, #Album,
For more information on hashtags, read this Daily Rind post.
The card button appears as the "i" in the top right hand
corner throughout the video, and up to 5 cards can be
added per video.
Link to sites (merch, streaming, donation sites, tour
tickets, playlists, etc.), or promote relevant videos or
other channels, so viewers can follow through on
another call-to-action without having to stop the video.
End-screens are an important feature that help
curate and lengthen a viewer’s watch session.
Add up to four different end screen elements;
one should be a playlist and another should be a
subscribe button to keep the viewer engaged with
the channel with the hope that they continue to
watch more videos from the channel. Make sure to
keep these updated to push to relevant and/or
Thumbnails are the first thing seen in search and
suggested videos, so make them count.
● Thumbnails should be bright and easy to see
(not dark or blurry), with a clear picture of the
artist or a striking image that’s on-brand to grab
the attention of potential fans.
● Use distinct thumbnails for each video to aid
● Always optimize for mobile — this can be
more of an advert than the title.
Additional Video Features
Enabling subtitles (CC)/translations opens the content to a
larger audience - including those who don't speak the language
or would prefer to have the lyrics on the screen. Translations
contribute to the overall metadata of the video. Translations can
also be automated for the title and description, found under the
To enable this feature in the video manager, select the video,
select “edit.” Then click on the “Subtitles/CC” tab and “add
Another important watch session feature to add is the “branding
watermark” button. It sits on the lower right hand corner of each
video and when scrolled over, allows the user to subscribe to
the channel without leaving the video.
To enable this feature in the Creator Studio, select channel >
branding, and then ”add a watermark.”
Merch shelf allows eligible channels to showcase official merchandise on a shelf below the video page,
and on the Store tab on the main channel.
To see if the channel is eligible, click into Creator Studio > Monetization > and see if there is a
Merchandise tab available.
Community is YouTube’s version of a social feed, and a great way to
directly engage with your audience.
Posting in the Community tab keeps the channel active in
YouTube’s algorithm, especially when the artist goes a length of time
without posting, or before uploading new content.
Replying/liking comments within the Community page fosters a
more connected fanbase.
Use Community to offer your fans access to unique content and
Create engaging posts such as: polls, open questions, Q&A, and
scheduled content. For video posts, instead of clicking the video
option, post the video link in the copy.
To ensure the Community page is enabled and for best practices,
read more on our blog.
YouTube Premiere enable fans to virtually gather,
engage, and enjoy a shared experience together.
Using the Premiere feature allows you to schedule
a video upload, and create a shareable watch
page, stirring up buzz around the release.
● Live Redirect allows a livestream
pre-show in advance of a Premiere that
leads to the Premiere of a video
● Trailers place a pre-recorded 15 seconds
to 3 minute hype video that will be played
on the watch page in advance to the
● Custom Countdown gives you the option
to choose from a range of themes, vibes
and moods to personalize the viewer’s
Premiere countdown experience.
Super Chat is a feature that allows viewers to
voluntarily pay for their messages to be highlighted and
pinned to the top of the live chat box on a livestream or
The color of the chat and amount of time pinned to the
top depends on how much the viewer spends.
Viewers can also purchase Super Stickers, which are
digital or animated images that pop up in the live chat
feed and can also be pinned to the top of the chat box.
The features will automatically be enabled on all future
livestreams and Premiere. For more details, check out
YouTube’s Help Center.
Super Chat & Super
YouTube Live Stay
Now, more than ever, it’s important to
stay connected and engaged with
YouTube Live gives you a way to
connect with new and old fans,
creates a real time experience to
engage with viewers directly, and
allows you to monetize your stream.
BEFORE DURING AFTER
YouTube Live: Best Practices
● Promote the link across socials,
Community, other videos
● Ask fans to hit “Set Reminder”
● Chat on the livestream to ensure
fans are tuned in prior
● Utilize YouTube features: trailer
video, playlists, end-screens,
● For Live Production, make sure
encoding software is set up and
the preview works
● Repost on socials / cross-promote
with other artists
● Engage directly with fans,
answering questions, chatting in
● Monitor live-chat for anything
● For Mobile, film in landscape
● Include in playlists, add
end-screens/cards, promote from
other videos, tags, descriptions
● Create more content derived from
the stream or fan-spotlights
● Review analytics to see how to
improve the next stream
On-the-go engagement from artists, as well as a cool
way to answer fans questions in real time. These are
a bonus feature on the YouTube mobile app.
● Think Instagram Stories - but the video
segments can be 15 seconds long and
expire after 7 days
● You can download Stories to publish as videos
on your channel
To create a story, tap the camera icon button and
record. There’s also the option to save, edit, add text,
links, filters, music, other artists handles, stickers and
By creating social assets and asking users to “swipe
up” to find a new video or subscribe to the channel,
it gathers a whole new audience to visit the platform
and engage with the channel. Along with other
socials, adding the YouTube channel or a new video
to bios can help users find a channel and new
Continued consistent, engaging, and creative content
creation such as vlogs, Q&A, behind the music,
personal videos, serialized content, and setting a
schedule so viewers know when to expect new content,
are key in creating a strong, loyal fanbase.
Communicate with viewers through liking or replying
to comments on videos, or pinning a top comment
- a question, a thank you, tour dates, lyrics, etc.
Engaging with viewers will incentivize them to interact
with the channel, as well as increase subscribers.
Viewers can also be reach on the community page,
and engage with other channels, videos, posts to
broaden an audience.
For further information regarding YouTube,
please check out The Daily Rind or contact
your label manager.
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