Let’s talk monetization in-depth
It’s all about money these days. Musicians work incredibly hard at their craft but make pennies on the dollar per thousand streams. It’s only until you gain a substantial amount of streams that you really begin to see payouts, which is something every musician seeks in their career. Don’t fret, sweat, or overthink the process. It’s really pretty simple, and we’re going to walk you through it and give you some valuable insight as to what monetization is.
What is (digital) monetization?
Simply put, you’re “enabling” your track to earn money on the streams it garners. Revenue is generated from the streams through advertisements, paid subscriptions, promotions, etc. This varies per platform. YouTube, for example, will place ads on your videos, which in turn generate revenue. When a user sees, clicks, or clicks and purchases something through that advertisement, you earn revenue. (Note: It is against Google‘s ad policy to instruct your viewers to click advertisements, so do not do that.) On YouTube, the more subscribers and views you have, the larger the advertisements will be. For example, if you have 10 million subscribers and 100+ million total views, then you may see advertisements from larger companies, such as Toyota, Sprint, Apple, etc. This is because these advertisers pay larger amounts of money for their advertisements, so to gain their ROI, their ads are placed on videos with much more traction.
YouTube also ranks its content creators based on how much they share content. If you publish content one, two, or three times a week, YouTube will rank you in suggested videos, search results, etc, accordingly. Uploading a video once a month doesn’t look good because we live in an ever-evolving digital age where everyone wants current, updated content. If you want to gain traction to your channel, ensure that you’re sharing content at least once a week.
Furthermore, you can also earn money through other avenues, including merchandise (t-shirts, hats, shoes) and more. Be creative! Digital monetization through streams is not the only source of income for musicians in today’s day and age.
Sharing your content to other platforms
There are a plethora of ways for one to gain traction on your monetized content. One of those methods is by sharing your content with friends, family, and fans through social media channels. There are some downsides to this, however. Facebook, for example, has roughly 2 billion users around the world. That is about 1/3 of the entire population of the planet, which is astounding in its own right. Share your content to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc, but keep an eye on the analytics for your content. Which platform is driving the most traffic to your content? What time is traffic the best? Many platforms’, including Facebook, algorithms won’t place your shared, external (non-native Facebook) content for all of your fans and friends. Let’s break this down: You just uploaded a new music video to YouTube, and you share the YouTube link to your Facebook page with 10,000 likes. Facebook may only place that on 1/3 of your fans’ timelines. Why? That YouTube video link takes the user completely off of Facebook, which is not what Facebook wants. Everybody ‘likes’ some kind of page that shares external content. If everybody clicked those external links, nobody would remain on Facebook for extended periods of time.
There are some ways around this, and we’ve seen some users tricking the algorithms. While there’s no direct way to monetize content on Facebook (yet), upload your entire video (or a teaser – 30 seconds) and then post the YouTube link in the comments, not the description, to the full, HD video. This is a small trick around Facebook’s algorithms.
You must have quality content.
Simply put, the single best thing you can do when you monetize your content (and non-monetized content) is produce high quality content. We can’t stress this enough. Without producing inviting, insightful content and putting serious work beyond your craft, then it’s not going to go anywhere. Consequently, you may even end up spending more money promoting it than you do actually receiving a return on investment (ROI). Produce quality work, and the following will come naturally.
In order to get better at what you do you have to fail, which means you have to take risks. It might take longer than anticipated to learn what you set out to learn, but give it time, ask questions, and dive in head first. The music industry is a big gamble, and until you’re able to accurately pick your numbers so you can win 95% of the time you need to keep trying.
There are a handful of other things you can do, and Cyber PR does a great job listing them out. Check out their list here.
Sign-up with a music distributor like Jamvana.
The reality of monetization is that it’s a headache. Seriously. That’s why we focus on the dirty work so you can do the creative work. We have what’s called a direct deal with the digital service providers (Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Deezer). We sift through our submissions weekly (we’re not a volume distributor like our competitors) and decide which ones we want to take on based on the quality (there’s that word again) of the sound and brand. If we like what we hear and see, then we’ll work with it to get it distributed. Once you’re approved to our system, you’ll signup to our Music Distribution System (MDS) and begin the process; you’ll fill out artist name, collaborators, cover art, a description for the release, and select which stores you want to release to. Once you submit the release, then we’ll send it to the DSPs you’ve chosen on the date you’ve selected.
Jamvana is here to help you get the most of monetizing your content in the digital world. We want to see your content succeed just as much as you do. And we want you to earn some money when doing it. We have a dedicated, professional team that’s ready to help, so please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about monetization.