Tune In: A Guide On How To Upload Music To YouTube

Reading time

14 Min


29 Feb 2024

A Guide On How To Upload Music To YouTube

If you are a musician who wants to get your music on YouTube. This guide has everything you need!

We will walk you through the process of uploading music to YouTube, ensuring it reaches a wide audience and gains the recognition it deserves. At the end of the article, we'll share one extra tip on how to become a part of a special YouTube Program 'Artists on the Rise' to get on the YouTube Trending tab. Let’s begin!

They Went Viral After Posting Music on YouTube

By uploading your music to YouTube, you get access to an enormous user base, with over 2 billion logged-in monthly users. This means that your music has the potential to reach a massive audience.

YouTube has been the launchpad for countless artists who have now become household names. Artists like Justin Bieber, Charlie Puth, Lindsey Stirling, and Carly Rae Jepsen were discovered on YouTube, their music resonating with millions across the globe.

Charlie Puth gained popularity after his song “See You Again” went viral on YouTube. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” became an internet sensation, propelling her to global fame. A violinist, dancer, and composer Lindsey Stirling initially gained attention on YouTube, where she posted videos of herself performing energetic violin covers of popular songs.

Artists Who Went Viral After Posting Their Music on YouTube

Source: Lindsey Stirling - Roundtable Rival - 97M views

These success stories echo the potential of YouTube as a platform for musical discovery and growth. It's time for you to learn how it's done.

Things to Know Before Posting Songs on YouTube

Before uploading your music to YouTube, make sure to take a look at the YouTube copyright rules and guidelines. Copyright infringement can result in your music being taken down or even legal consequences.

There are two primary points when it comes to music copyright on YouTube: the sound recording and the musical composition. Let's break it down using a simple analogy. 

  • Imagine the Sound Recording as a car – it's the final product you see and use. In the same way, a Sound Recording is the specific version of a song you hear, complete with performances, production, and any unique additions. If you're using a sound recording you don't own, you'll need licenses or permissions from the copyright owner.
  • Now, think of the musical composition like the parts of a car: the engine, tires, and chassis. These parts are the basic elements needed to build the final car. Similarly, a Musical Composition consists of parts – the melody, lyrics, and arrangement of a song. If you're the songwriter or composer, you own the rights to the musical composition. But if you're using someone else's composition, you'll need the appropriate licenses or permissions.

To protect your music rights, you can use YouTube's Content ID system. It scans videos you upload for copyrighted material and lets owners stop unauthorized use. Moreover, YouTube Content ID allows you to earn money every time somebody else uses your music on the platform. To get your music to the YouTube Content ID system, contact YouTube Certified Partner AIR Media-Tech.

YouTube Content ID Helps Artists to Protect Their Music and Earn More

Find out how YouTube Content ID helps creators with copyright, resolving strikes, and earning more on YouTube.

Creating a YouTube Channel for Your Music

Before you start posting your music on YouTube, you'll need to create your channel. Follow these steps to set it up:

  1. If you already have a Google account, sign in to YouTube using your existing credentials. If not, create a new Google account by clicking on the “Create account” button.
  2. Once signed in, click on your profile picture in the top right corner, and select “YouTube Studio” from the dropdown menu.
  3. In YouTube Studio, click on the “Create a channel” button.
  4. Come up with a memorable name for your channel that reflects your music and brand.
  5. You can also upload a profile picture and channel banner to customize the appearance of your channel.

If you already have a personal channel and want to create one specifically for your music using the same email, here is a detailed guide.

Once you have a YouTube channel, it’s time to upload your music and start sharing it with the world. Next, we'll give you detailed instructions on uploading music to both: the regular YouTube platform and the YouTube Music app.

Create a New Channel to Upload Your Music

Preparing Your Tracks for Uploading to Regular YouTube

When it comes to regular YouTube, not the YouTube Music app, the key is that it only accepts video file types. So, to upload your music to regular YouTube, there are a few simple steps you need to take. Here's how you do it:

  • To turn your audio file into a video for YouTube, you can use any free video editing software like iMovie for Apple users or Windows Movie Maker for Windows users.
  • Choose an image to accompany your song as the background.
  • Import your audio file into the software.
  • Adjust the image duration to match your music or set the endpoint of the audio.
  • Add effects, text, transitions, or other enhancements as desired. Consider adding a fade-out effect at the song's end.
  • Save the video in a format compatible with YouTube, like MOV, MP4, AVI, WMV, etc..
  • Check YouTube's recommendations for optimal video formats, resolutions, bitrates, etc.
  • Save and download your file.
  • Get your metadata ready: This includes titles, descriptions, and tags. Adding accurate and descriptive metadata helps YouTube recommend your music properly and make it more visible.  You can add metadata in 233 languages to reach more people globally. To translate and add metadata automatically, reach out to us. We'll pick languages that match your goals and add translations in minutes.

Always ensure that you have the necessary permissions for any images used in your video, especially if they are sourced from external locations.

Uploading Your Music to Regular YouTube

Now that you have your video file ready, it’s time to start uploading your music to YouTube Music. Here’s a guide to help you get started:

  1. Open YouTube Studio and click "Create" at the top right. Then choose "Upload Videos."
  2. Click "Select files to upload" and pick your music file.
  3. Add a title, description, and tags to your video to help YouTube understand it better.
  4. YouTube will suggest a thumbnail, but you can upload your own to make your video more attractive.
  5. Decide if your video will be public, private, or unlisted.
  6. Finally, click "Publish" to upload your music video to YouTube.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully uploaded your music to the YouTube platform. Now, let's learn how to get your music on YouTube Music.

Upload Your Music to YouTube via YouTube Studio

Preparing Your Tracks for Uploading to YouTube Music

As with regular YouTube, posting music on YouTube Music requires preparation to ensure optimal sound quality. Here are a few steps to follow to ensure your music sounds its best:

  • Choose the right format: YouTube suggests AAC, PCM, FLAC, or MP3 for audio files. Aim for a bitrate of 384 kbps or higher for better sound quality. Find more info on YouTube's specifications here.
  • Make standout album art: Your album cover is like a visual introduction to your music. Design something eye-catching that represents your style and grabs attention. For professional AI-generated images, drop a message here.

Once your track is optimized and art is ready, it's time to post it on YouTube Music.

Uploading Your Music to YouTube Music

Posting your songs on YouTube Music is simpler than on YouTube itself. Here’s how to upload your music to YouTube Music:

  1. Go to YouTube Music in your browser.
  2. Click on your profile photo.
  3. Find and click "Upload music" in the menu that appears.
  4. Finder or Windows Explorer will open up. Choose the track or tracks you want to upload and click "Open".
  5. To view your uploaded songs, go to Library > Songs, then click the dropdown menu and select "Uploads".

That’s it, your music is posted! But the process doesn't stop here. To ensure your tracks reach the right audience, you need to optimize them.

Upload Your Music to YouTube via YouTube Music App

Optimizing Your Music for YouTube Search

To get your music noticed on YouTube, you need to do some SEO. This involves using relevant keywords, tags, and descriptions that represent your music and appeal to potential listeners.

First, find popular search terms related to your music's genre, style, and specific songs. Use these words in your video titles, descriptions, and tags to help your music show up in relevant searches. For detailed instructions on how to improve your YouTube SEO, check out this article.

Use this SEO Guide to Make Your Music on YouTube More Visible

Promoting your music on YouTube 

Let's say your music is already on YouTube, uploaded, and ready to go. The next step is figuring out how to make it popular.

Start by using YouTube's promotional tools like playlists, and then move on to using the tips from our list of 24 promotional tactics for YouTube to increase your visibility and attract new listeners on the platform.

Don't forget that your music can go beyond YouTube to gain more listeners. Message us to get it on over 120 platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Deezer, TikTok, Beatport, and more. We've helped lots of creators reach more people. Let's boost your popularity too!

Use these 24 Tactics to Promote Your Music on YouTube

Monetizing Your Music on YouTube

You can start getting cash from YouTube by joining the YouTube Partner Program. This allows you to earn money from ads displayed on your videos. However, you need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months to be eligible.

Beyond ads, you can also earn from channel memberships, YouTube Super features, and other alternative income streams. To help you with that, AIR Media-Tech has put together a list of 9 strategies you can use to earn more on YouTube

Remember, even though monetization is important, it shouldn’t compromise your content quality or authenticity. Your music should always take center stage.

Use this 9 Strategies to Earn More as a Music Creator on YouTube

Claiming the Official Artist Channel on YouTube

Here is one advanced tactic for dessert. If you'd like to take one step further as a music artist on YouTube, you can request the Official Artist Channel. This special channel gathers all your music in one place, making it easier for fans to find your songs, playlists, and other content. You'll know it's an Official Artist Channel when you see a little music note next to your name.

Such channels give music creators additional growth opportunities. For instance, you might get featured in the Artists on the Rise program, which showcases creators in a special section of the 'Trending' tab.

To get this status, you just need to meet some requirements, like having at least one official music release on YouTube through a music distributor or label. For support with sorting this out, text us here.

As you navigate the world of YouTube, remember that success doesn’t come overnight. It requires patience, persistence, and a lot of practice. So, keep creating, keep sharing, and keep shining on the global stage that YouTube provides. Your music deserves to be heard, and YouTube can help turn up the volume.

More to Explore

Show all