Music Channels Monetization: The Main Threats to Your Income

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10 Min




28 Dec 2020

Music Channels Monetization: The Main Threats to Your Income

In this article, we will share critical information about how artists promote their music on YouTube, so that you can immediately start working towards your goals on YouTube.

YouTube is much different in 2020 than it was in 2019, even more so than in 2017. Despite the fact that the platform received a lot of TV ad budgets, many musicians see YouTube as their storage room — a place to simply download videos  and forget about them. We want to change this by showing musicians, music channels’ owners, and the entire music industry new opportunities for this platform. We also want to help creators expand their channels with our expertise and a deeper understanding of YouTube, its trends and algorithms. We talked about this in detail at our MeetUp, Music Channels Monetization, and we’ll now share about this in this article.

About AIR Music

AIR Music has been working with musicians and music channels on YouTube for many years. Video label is part of AIR Media-Tech, an international company that monetizes YouTube content for artists, supports and develops YouTube channels, and promotes music tracks on TikTok and music videos on YouTube.

AIR Music provides music distribution and promotion in the following popular services: Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, and Tidal. We also organize streams for concerts, festivals, and educational events.

We will talk about

  • Reasons why YouTube rules are constantly changing
  • Mandatory conditions for publication and monetization content on YouTube
  • The most popular reasons monetization is disabled on music channels
  • How to prevent losing monetization
  • What is Article 17 and why do you need to know about it?

You can also watch the recording from the meetup, and get the checklist and full presentation about how to prevent the threat of disabling monetization on a music channel. Register for free and receive all the materials immediately. 

Reasons why YouTube rules are constantly changing

Previously, it was possible to publish almost anything on YouTube and to monetize it almost any time. But at some point, everything changed. You may have heard the term, Adpocalypse - a site-wide term coined in early 2017 to describe mass advertiser boycotts and withdrawals on YouTube. These kinds of Adpocalypse moments periodically caused radical changes in the YouTube monetization rules. 

Then, in November 2017, concerns arose regarding improper kids content, causing Mars, Adidas, HP, and Deutsche Bank to pull ads from YouTube. These companies are market giants that spend huge amounts of advertising money on the Internet, and on YouTube, in particular. Obviously, it is very bad when they take their advertising budgets off the platform. So, in January 2018, YouTube further updated its policies, restricting the partner program to channels with more than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours per year. 

These are just a couple of examples of why big changes have taken place on the YouTube platform. These facts may not seem very interesting at first, but they will show you why YouTube is changing in a harder direction, their motives and interests, and how this entire process works. For more details, see the recording of the Online MeetUp.

Mandatory conditions for publication and monetization content on YouTube

You can publish and monetize content on YouTube under the following rules:

As you can see, this is not a small set of rules and requirements. More information about this and all links are listed in the checklist which you can get after registration.

The majority of creators are so busy creating content and growing the channel, that they’re not thinking about how to study all of these huge documents, which seem to be pure formality. But in the case of YouTube the system works differently, and it is really important to know all the key rules by heart!

The most popular reasons monetization is disabled on music channels

Let's take a look at the most popular reasons for disabling monetization, which are described in these sets of rules and are relevant for music channels.

1. Reused content.

Reused content on YouTube means uploading someone else's content without adding significant original comment. 

This rule applies to all content on the channel. In other words, if you have a lot of videos with such violations, monetization can be turned off completely.

2. Repetitious content

One and the same clip can be placed on several channels. This is not prohibited in terms of content availability. But, if a channel contains a lot of video that is repeated on other channels, there is a good chance that monetization on this channel may be disabled completely.

One of the types of content that creators are not allowed to monetize according to YouTube rules is “Collections of songs from different artists”.

And it does not matter if you have permission to use those tracks - this prohibition is not related to copyright protection measures. Watch AIR Music MeetUp to learn more. 

How to prevent losing monetization

If you want to build a business on YouTube, you have to play by YouTube rules and try to achieve perfection in this matter.

What to strive for? 

The key is to be a channel that behaves like a music label. We call this the ACT LIKE A LABEL strategy. We offer this model based on our practical experience with several of our current partners who have already started working with this strategy and we are seeing it work. Almost every one of these partners came to us with the problem of disabled monetization. It wasn't easy to restore it, but we managed to do it by working together with the channels that followed our recommendations.

Register to get strategy details.


What is Article 17 and why do you need to know about it?

Article 17, from Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market is a requirement for websites that primarily host user-generated content that says they must take 'effective and proportionate' measures to prevent unauthorized posting of copyrighted content or be held accountable for the actions of their users. It receives a title Upload Filter.

What does this mean for you as a YouTube author or musician in the European Union?

YouTube and other platforms may have no choice but to block existing videos and prohibit the upload of new ones in the European Union unless the license we have with the specific copyright holder applies to the use of their content in your video, or if you can prove that everything in the video (including visual and audio files) belongs to you.

What does this mean for you as a YouTube creator or artist OUTSIDE the European Union?

YouTube gives a very vague answer, but we assume that if the content is found to be in violation of the Directive, it will be blocked in the EU. YouTube is currently not commenting on exactly how the Directive will be implemented. But, we advise you to keep a close eye on YouTube news expected in the new year. The deadline for the implementation of the Directive by the EU member states expires in the spring.

The directive establishes that in the absence of permission from copyright holders, Internet platforms will be responsible for placing  such works. This promises to change the lives of all content creators. Subscribe to our Facebook to stay up to date with changes on YouTube.

We talked about all the consequences of Article 17 in more detail at the Online MeetUp. 



AIR MUSIC MEETUP is 60 minutes of YouTube platform updates, tips, tricks, best practices, and expertise for music artists and labels from AIR Music  to help promote your YouTube channel in 2021!