Last year YouTube launched Official Artist Channels to gather all of the content for individual artists in one spot. Official Artist Channels pulls in multiple channels for artists including official videos from Vevo, promotional videos, live performances, backstage footage, third-party content and more. Starting this week, fans can get updates on all their favorite content from an artist with one subscription.
‘Today, we’re simplifying things even more by bringing together an artist’s subscribers under their Official Artist Channel. Uniting subscribers under one channel means you’ll be able to go deeper and explore all of the content from the artists you love. For fans looking for music from the artists they love, finding the Official Artist Channel for an artist will soon be as simple as searching for their name on YouTube. You can also identify the Official Artist Channel by looking for the artist icon (the musical note) in YouTube search and on the channel page,’ said the YouTube Music Team in a January 23 blog post.
YouTube explains that fans who are currently subscribed to unofficial artist channels will automatically be subscribed to the official channel which will serve as a single destination to access an artist’s portfolio of work. Notifications and messages from the artists themselves will come via the Official Artist Channel. From an artist’s perspective, grouping all subscribers in one place gives artists broader reach, says YouTube. The expansion of the Official Artist Channels will take place over the ‘coming weeks.’
For new YouTube users or new fans, they will log into their YouTube accounts, search for a video from a favorite artist, and then under the online video player, they will select Subscribe. The catch here is that this single destination only applies to artists who have upgraded to an Official Artist Channel. YouTube explains the process in this informational video:
The Official Artist Channel has a new page layout which includes different sections including featured videos, artist-curated content, official music, albums and more. YouTube said the benefits to artists are that content is better organized, the Official Artist Channel makes their work more discoverable via search, promotional content can be included, aggregate subscriber metrics are available, and it will be easier to engage with fans. To be eligible, an artist must already have a YouTube channel that they own or operate, or that is operated by their manager or label, and that contains at least three music videos.
In other YouTube news, a CNBC report says that YouTube TV, which launched in April 2017, has just over 300,000 subscribers, though Google did not disclose or confirm this number. According to CNBC, YouTube TV is available in more than 80 percent of U.S. households.
YouTube has had a lot of controversial missteps in the last year or so, so while the Official Artist Channels sounds cool, this doesn’t necessarily seem like the best use of YouTube resources. Instead, perhaps they should focus on their controversial ad program, they’re poor screening of videos like Paul Logan’s that caused so much backlash online, or their rollout of YouTube TV. While 300,000 people sounds like a lot, Hulu Live TV, which offers a similar product to YouTube TV, has about 450,000 subscribers already. YouTube, while still popular with millions of viewers, seems to be throwing products at the wall to see what sticks.