YouTube Official Artist Channel: What Is It & How To Get One

By Mihai Costin.

We all know how important it is to stand out and have everything ready for when your fans land on your artist page. Nowadays it is even more important to take care of this, especially when it comes to stores like YouTube. The impact that YouTube had on millions of users and fans is what led the store to create YouTube Music, the streaming model, and way of listening to music.

Hey wait, how do my songs end up on YouTube Music?

That is done by the distributor, the majority of them already deliver catalogues to YouTube Music, in parallel with YouTube. This means that your tracks will be available both in the streaming app and on the YouTube we all know and use. Now you may say that you already have your own YouTube channel since a while, so question is how do the streaming songs and fans reach that one. The answer is the Official Artist Channel. This will merge the channel you already own and represents the artist or the band with the Topic Channel (the auto-generated channel that is part of the streaming model). This way, regardless of where your fans will look, they will always find the official channel that you control and customize.

The artist can do the following via the Official Artist Channel:
  • Have a unified presence. Meaning one official channel where artists can directly reach and interact with fans on YouTube. All of the subscribers (both from YouTube Music and YouTube) are brought together to the Official Artist Channel. This lets the artist manage their presence on YouTube, YouTube Music and Charts in one place.
  • Organize content: The released music is automatically organized into an album section. The Official Music Videos are also added into a new playlist, even if the content is on a topic or label channel. The artist then has the option to move, delete and re-add either of these auto-generated music sections from their channel.
  • Unlock promotional content, by choosing what they want to highlight in the featured video slot and also feature the upcoming concert or events listings.
So how does all of this work?

First of all, you need to have and operate a YouTube channel that represents the artist or band. Then you need to have at least 3 releases out on sale (this is a very important requirement, so best is to make sure it is checked). Lastly and just as relevant, your channel has to align with YouTube policies including YouTube’s Community Guidelines, Terms of Service and Copyright policies. If all above are in order, then your music distributor can request the OAC (Official Artist Channel) activation. This might take a while, as each one is carefully checked by YouTube before final decision. As positive, this ensures that every OAC is actually representing the artist and it is not mis-used, so patience brings the value to high standards.