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Top Music YouTubers Reveal Their Secrets At VidCon

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From left: Margaret Gregory, Alejandro Manzano, Tyler Ward, Mike Falzone, David Choi, Meghan Tonjes, Peter Hollens

This past weekend in Anaheim, CA was the world’s largest gathering of YouTube lovers. Nearly 19,000 people attended the VidCon conference at the Anaheim Convention Center – located just blocks away from Disneyland.

The median age of attendee I would guess to be about 16. There were 10 year olds running amok with their oversized badges and sponsor-affixed ribbons to publicly proclaim how many booths they visited in the exhibition hall. And I spotted a couple dudes over 35 looking like the creepy old grandpas who were either YouTubers themselves, parents of an attendee or just someone who loves bubbly personalities on the internet a little too much.

At any given moment, a hoard of tweens would spot a famous YouTuber walking, talking or, believe it or not, eating, and dash full speed ahead whilst screaming OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD! You could fill the Los Angeles river with the amount of tween tears shed at VidCon. You thought this kind of mania only happened for the Beatles or Justin Bieber? Think again.

VidCon brings together some of the biggest names in YouTube. Most of whom, you’ve never heard of. And by you, I mean the average music aficionado. But you don’t matter at VidCon. Boyce Avenue is more famous than Imagine Dragons and Tyler Ward is more of a star than Iggy Azalea at VidCon. Don’t know who they are? Well you should. (More on them later)

A guy I met at the Defy Media party mentioned to me “it takes 30 minutes to walk to the Hilton.” I was so confused as the Hilton was about 50 feet from the front doors of VidCon. Then I realized, this guy has 300,000 YouTube subscribers and the moment he shows his face he gets hounded by screaming tweens with iPhones and sharpies.

YouTube And Your Music Career Panel

The conference drew the majority of attendees for the signings, concerts and the chance to spot their favorite internet crush chowing down a food truck crab cake. There were also panels split between Community and Industry pass holders. Community panels were geared towards aspiring YouTubers, with panel topics like “Beauty Bloggers: Dealing With Hate,” “Online Gaming Strategies,” “Writing Comedy For YouTube,” while the Industry panels targeted those who have built an ecosystem around YouTube: startups, MCNs, lawyers, managers, labels and anyone else wanting to understand the business behind the subscription base.

At the YouTube And Your Music Career Community panel, YouTubers David Choi, Tyler Ward, Mike Falzone, Alejandro Manzano (of Boyce Avenue), Meghan Tonjes and Peter Hollens sat alongside YouTube employee, on the Artist and Label Relations team, Margaret Gregory.

The panel was moderated by Peter Hollens. He asked the panelists the best ways to succeed on YouTube as a musician – along with serenading (through the mic) his crying baby wailing from the back row.

The room was packed with young, aspiring YouTube musicians who, by a show of hands, claimed they still buy music. Liars. But they had to look good in front of their idols.

The godfather of the panel, Alejandro Manzano (of Boyce Avenue), just 27, has amassed over 5.8 million YouTube subscribers to Boyce Avenue’s channel. Tyler Ward openly admitted that Boyce Avenue inspired him to become a YouTube musician (Ward has over 1.6 million subscribers). Boyce Avenue started uploading cover videos 6 years ago and even their earliest videos have millions of views. Their most popular video, with 50 million+ views, is a cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” featuring the X Factor girl group Fifth Harmony and was uploaded a year ago.

Collaboration

All of the YouTubers on the panel stressed the importance of collaboration. Boyce Avenue (5.8 million subs) has collaborated with every musician on the panel except for Peter Hollens (720,000 subs) – but they made a public promise to make that happen soon.

Manzano said “Collaboration is key. If you look at this room, what makes it interesting is that there are so many different people on this panel. If there were just one person up on this panel it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting or as informative.”

Meghan Tonjes (180,000 subs) concurred that collaboration is extremely important especially in the beginning. But she said “not necessarily with other musicians, but the fact that there are other YouTubers who felt compelled to shout me out on TV or to use my music in a makeup video or to show up to a show and tweet to their fans.”

YouTubers love supporting other YouTubers.

Tonjes said that making friends on YouTube has been very important to her and one of her best friends she met from YouTube is Mike Falzone (107,000 subs). She said they now tour together all the time.

“Don’t feel like [collaboration] has to just be other musicians. It can be anyone that has any kind of audience and is passionate about what they are doing. [Their audience] will come over [to your channel] for something else that they can watch” – Meghan Tonjes

David Choi (1 million subs) encouraged collaborating with other people for production. Choi said he’s not really into shooting videos himself, so he works with friends to help with that. He said “work with people who love what they do, whether it be videography or editing.”

“Collaboration is definitely important. You can share your fan bases.” – David Choi

Comedy musician Mike Falzone said he likes “life collaborations. I call it friendship.”

Best Piece of Advice

All the panelists stressed the importance of being yourself. As different as each YouTuber’s music is, the common thread is that they have a clear understanding of who they are and their audience understands them.

Tonjes stressed not to be a character because “the problem you’ll run into is that you’ll actually get sick of whatever character you create…people will connect more if they know your personality… and they know what you’re writing is authentic.”

“Be authentic. That’s what makes people want to support you. Don’t be a character. Be very much yourself.” – Meghan Tonjes

David Choi said he’s written “hundreds of songs” and that it all starts with the song.

“When you write a good song that can connect with a lot of people…that’s the best way to gain traction for anything on YouTube.” – David Choi

 

“If you’re honest to yourself and you stay true to your brand, and treat it like a brand, and respect yourself, people will gravitate towards that. No matter how niche your market or your sound may be, just be true to it.” Alejandro Manzano, Boyce Avenue

 

“You got to do it because you love it. You shouldn’t do it because of the views and you shouldn’t do it because of the money you could make someday…because you’re going to figure out sooner or later you’re not going to want to do it. It’s a job. It’s a business. But we love it.” – Mike Falzone

 

“It’s about being smart about your tags and titles and making sure you’re searchable. The only reason I have a job now is because I was searchable.” – Tyler Ward

The YouTube Artist and Label relations manager, Margaret Gregory, gave some tips of her own from working behind the scenes at YouTube and studying the best techniques from the YouTubers enjoying the most success:

“Consistency is so key. Consistency with content. Consistency on being true to who you are. Don’t get discouraged when you’ve posted every week for 6 months and you aren’t where you think you should be…because these guys have been doing it for a long time. They didn’t get here in a few weeks.” – Margaret Gregory, Artist and Label Relations, YouTube

How YouTube Is Supporting The Music Vertical

Hollens asked Gregory directly how YouTube is working to help musicians. Gregory highlighted 3 new things that YouTube just released:

1) “Top Strategies For Music” guide
The YouTube music team went through some of the top music channels and put together common themes that have made them successful. They put together “a hit list of the top 10 things” you should be doing as a musician on YouTube to be successful. She mentioned they have one specifically for EDM artists.

2) Fan Funding
Announced at the keynote address at VidCon on Thursday, YouTube will be integrating ways for fans to make donations directly through your YouTube channel. So far it has only rolled out to a few test channels. Users can sign up to be a beta tester of this feature here.

hand  June 27, 2014 - YouTube Unveils Integrated Crowdfunding

3) The YouTube 15
Jenna Marbles (13.4 million subs) will be hosting a weekly radio show on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 featuring the top songs on YouTube – both from established artists and up and comers.

Crowdfunding

Tonjes, Hollens, Falzone and Ward use Patreon. Choi used Kickstarter and, more recently, had an app created specifically for him to allow fans to become subscribers. Manzano (Boyce Avenue) was the only one who has never used some form of crowd funding. Boyce Avenue became financially successful before crowd funding took off. They successfully make their income from sales, streams, touring and merchandise.

“Patreon is the way I’m paying rent right now.” – Meghan Tonjes

“People who follow us on YouTube, think that they can play a very integral part of our careers. More so than a signed, major artist.” -David Choi

“People want to help you. So let them help you” – Mike Falzone

hand February 13, 2014 Patreon Just Solved YouTube… And Music

 

Spotify

“Put everything on Spotify” – Alejandro Manzano, Boyce Avenue

 

“Spotify outdid my iTunes sales last year” – Tyler Ward

“Streaming will be the future” – Peter Hollens

“It already is” – David Choi

Need a Label?

Boyce Avenue is the only one from the panel who has been signed to a label. They were signed for a very short period of time and Manzano said “it’s not like the labels are the bad guys, it wasn’t the right relationship for us. We were on YouTube for a year and a half and got a lot of label interest and we chose what we thought was the best deal.”

“A lot of the people sitting behind desks… they need us. We happen to understand this new thing better than they do. And we should be aware of that” -Mike Falzone

Monetization

Choi mentioned that YouTube now allows musicians to monetize cover songs. Gregory concurred stating:

“We do have a program for our independent artists where you can get a piece of advertising revenue from your covers.” – Margaret Gregory, Artist and Label Relations, YouTube

Choi mentioned it’s about 94% of the songs on YouTube. As a YouTube Partner, if you want to monetize cover songs just leave the monetize button checked. YouTube will find that it is a cover song and split the revenue accordingly.

Remember…

“One video at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed when you see a big subscription number. We all started from zero” – Alejandro Manzano, Boyce Avenue

 

“It’s so ridiculously easy to get discouraged. All you have to do is look at that number under the video and picture those people. Those are real people. It might look like a tiny number.Picture 23 people looking at you. Clapping for you. Appreciating what you’ve done. Know that there’s somebody on the other side” – Mike Falzone

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog, Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

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Comments (58)
  1. what a joke

    Paid by Google to say what Google needs to be said.

    None of these lame YouTube employees plays an actual music instrument.


    Reply
    1. There is something...

      Of course, you didn’t event bother to check them out because you would know they are actual musicians…
      Haters gonna hate… again.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        You’re right, they are musicians.

        However, the poster does have a very important point when he says they’re Google employees.

        Most of us are aware that the ‘event’ was an attempt to make people forget that 4,000 music labels filed a complaint with the European Commision against Google last week — and that it may cost the corporation $5 billion.

        But some of you may not yet have heard that YouTube is dead. Here’s what you need to know about Google’s new service if you’re an artist:

        You will never sell a song again if you sign a contract with the new ‘YouTube’!

        Google will make your entire catalogue available for free on release day — online AND off-line!


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          …for those who haven’t seen ‘YouTube’s new contract:

          “Catalogue Commitment and Monetization. It is understood that as of the Effective Date and throughout the Term, Provider’s entire catalogue of Provider Sound Recordings and Provider Music Videos (including Provider Music Videos delivered via a third party) will be available for the Premium and Free Services for use in connection with each type of Relevant Content, (excluding AudioSwap Recordings, which will be at Provider’s option) and set to a default policy of Monetize for both the Premium and Free Services, except as otherwise set forth in this Agreement. Further, Provider will provide Google with the same Provider Sound Recordings and Provider Music Videos on the same day as it provides such content to any other similarly situated partners. The foregoing will be subject to reasonable quantity of limited-time exclusive promotional offers (in each case, with a single third party partner) (“Limited Exclusives”), as long as a) Provider provides Google with comparable exclusive promotional offers and b) the quantity and duration of such Limited Exclusives do not frustrate the intent of this Agreement.”


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            The good news is that a YouTube replacement may be on its way… :)


            Reply
        2. there is something...

          We could the same: an artist signed to Universal or Sony may sound a lot like an Universal or Sony employee. And I don’t see where having your catalog on Youtube is any different from having it on Spotify or Deezer: you can still sell songs because REAL fans like to buy and own songs. But Youtubers are very different, anyway, from the old artist model. They don’t have a label taking a huge cut and recouping all they can to screw you. All the money they make from Spotify, Youtube and other streaming source is almost 100% for their pocket. It’s a big difference with the “artist signed to a label” model. Also, I still want to see how the Youtube streaming service will actually play out. I can’t see Google killing it’s own golden goose, but I may be wrong of course.


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            Spotify and Deezer don’t force you to stream your entire catalog for free on release day.

            If they did, they would die.


            Reply
            1. There is something

              Independant artist use aggregators and most of them don’t allow windowing. Even among signed artists, windowing is an exception IMHO, not a rule. Only big acts really gain something from windowing anyway…


              Reply
              1. Anonymous

                “Only big acts really gain something from windowing anyway”

                lol, total nonsense.


                Reply
                1. There is something...

                  Oh, maybe you could explain why ? You’re the here who seem to have to clue about how people buy music today. Most independant musicians already promote their music on Bandcamp or Soundcloud, where you can listen for free anyway. Only big names with huge promotion and following can drain enough people to an exclusive release on a selected site. All the others need to reach as many people as they can.


                  Reply
                  1. Anonymous

                    Everybody has to start somewhere. If you don’t have an audience yet, you need to build one. YouTube was great for that, but now it’s gone and everybody’s waiting for the replacement. iTunes is not what you want in that situation.

                    But your priorities change when you have an audience. Then you need to make money. And you don’t make money if you work for free.

                    You make money from gigging, teaching and iTunes. The rest doesn’t matter. And that’s not an opinion, that’s a fact.

                    The proof is in da numbers…


                    Reply
                    1. There is something

                      YouTube isn’t gone yet. We speculate but we have to see what they are going to do. I still don’t really believe they will block Independants in the end. Also,you need to understand that for young user, iTunes is already a dinosaur from the past. I like the service and I use quite a lot but it’s not the futur anymore. Like it or not.


                    2. Anonymous

                      “YouTube isn’t gone yet”

                      Not sure what you mean…

                      * YouTube was free (except for a few channels that failed miserably).

                      Google’s new service is paid subscription though studies show that only 7% of the users are going to pay..

                      * YouTube offered everything to everybody.

                      Google’s new censored version has to remove thousands of artists from the free tier. Otherwise, paying subscribers won’t understand why the free version offers content that’s not available on the paid service.

                      * YouTube artists who needed it could use ContentID to monetize their work.

                      Google’s new service does not allow artists to use ContentID, unless they make their entire catalogs available on Google’s free service on release day which would cannibalize record sales.

                      Google claims that only 5% of the artists refuse to sign such an agreement, but artists’ organizations say that about 33% say no.

                      * YouTube artists who needed it could use ContentID to monetize — or take down — unauthorized user generated content.

                      Google’s new service no longer makes that possible, unless artists make their entire catalogs available on Google’s free service on release day.

                      This turns Google’s new service into a piracy site: Artists can no longer remove pirated content (it is immediately uploaded again because Google refuses to use ContentID to block or monetize it, though it is aware of the illegal files, and though it has the technology to remove them).


                    3. There is something

                      Well, you can argue what you want but YouTube is still “the place to go” for most people and will remain until there is a better alternative. Also, as we speak, none of those videos are blocked, so yes, we’re speculating.


    2. Jabsco

      Today I learned that guitar and piano are no longer musical instruments.


      Reply
    3. sonqiuarium muzika

      I play no ‘Instrument” but I tour successfully, I sell my music successfully, I create tracks from scratch successfully. Playing an ‘Instrument” is something a “X” band camp or Academic would say because they look at their life in the Music World when the reality hits.

      Heck, all the top guys I perform with who command 50k to 100k a show in the EDM world never played an instrument in their life! But they still make charted tracks and fan’s love them.

      Hate the Game, not the players.


      Reply
      1. Paul Resnikoff

        Well, define ‘instrument’. The definition is always changing, and every time something new comes out, people decry it as not being a real instrument. Dylan went electric, and look what happened.

        One of my favorite artists is AraabMuzik. He doesn’t play the guitar, he plays an MPC drum machine. So, is he not a musician?

        In the end, instruments are also forms of technology. The stand-up bass was at one point converted into guitar format, and made electric. The stand-up and electric bass co-exist now, and the electric bass went through its own evolutionary path (to five, six, more strings, fretless, etc.) I wasn’t there, but I’m sure when the electric bass first came out, stand-up bass players were calling it ‘not a real bass,’ ‘not a real instrument’.

        Ha, maybe some still are.


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          “Ha, maybe some still are.”

          Musicians are not conservative — on the contrary, most of us are nuts about new ways of making new sounds.

          The problem is that nobody can afford to invent new instruments for us because people don’t pay for music anymore. Which obviously means musicians can’t afford to buy gear.

          Result? Every sound you can make today, you could also make in 1998.


          Reply
          1. Paul Resnikoff

            I think that’s a misread, actually. Do you have data on instrument sales to back that up? I find that artists are very willing to spend money on gear, and there are a lot more sound capabilities – not to mention production possibilities – that didn’t exist in 1998.


            Reply
    4. PeterHollens

      As the moderator of this panel, and the friend of every single one of the musicians on the panel I can assure you that you are 100% false. None of us are youtube/google employees and we all hold them accountable for issues we find with the platform.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “None of us are youtube/google employees”

        Oh, YouTube doesn’t pay you?

        Sorry about that, then.


        Reply
        1. Ari Herstand

          Making money from YouTube is very different than being an employee of YouTube. With your logic, every musician is an employee of iTunes, Spotify, Google, BandCamp, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Amazon, every venue they’ve ever performed in, ASCAP, BMI, SoundExchange, your mom for the private performance they gave her last night, etc etc.

          “I just sold a song on iTunes! So glad I’m now an employee of Apple! Man that only took a day! Better change my LinkedIn.”

          In the terms of service of every contract it actually states that the user/seller/performer is NOT an employee of the company.


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            No amount of paid hype is going to bring YouTube back, Ari — let’s move on.


            Reply
            1. Annabanana

              Ask any teenager and the number #1 source they use to discover or play music is YouTube. I’m not sure why you think it’s dead, but it’s not. Every 12 mins 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. YT uses 25% of all internet bandwith in the US, coming second only to Netflix. In my view, YouTube is still on the rise.


              Reply
  2. David

    “if you want to monetize cover songs just leave the monetize button checked. YouTube will find that it is a cover song and split the revenue accordingly”

    Intriguing. How will YouTube ‘find that it is a cover’? And how will they ‘split the revenue accordingly’? Let me guess: YouTube will keep about half; about 40% will go to the performer; and less than 10% will go to the collection agency, publisher, and songwriter(s) combined.


    Reply
    1. Versus

      My question exactly. How exactly can YouTube identify a cover?
      I don’t believe that ContentID is that sophisticated yet, since it goes by sonic waveform analysis. A cover with a completely different arrangement would presumably not be identifiable by the ContentID algorithms.


      Reply
      1. Ari Herstand

        Good question! YouTube is SMART!


        Reply
  3. Annabanana

    David – I think what she meant was that if YouTuber A has an original song and YouTubers B, C & D then cover that song, YouTube will ID it and pay YouTuber A. In other words indie artists unaffiliated with a major can make money off of their original songs. As to how they split the royalties, it depends on which partner program the artist is a part of or if they belong to a multichannel network.


    Reply
    1. David

      That isn’t what they (David Choi and Margaret Gregory) said, and I don’t think it is what they meant. YouTube ‘sensations’ like Tyler Ward, Boyce Avenue, and Lennon and Maisy rely heavily on covers of songs by better-known (outside YouTube) artists. If they don’t monetise these they will have a thin time of it. David Choi himself apparently does write songs, but also does a huge number of covers.


      Reply
      1. Paul Resnikoff

        Will Jeff Price chime in here? He was talking about exactly this topic a few months back; he was working on this at Audiam.


        Reply
      2. Annabanana

        YouTube sensations known primarily for their cover versions of Top 40 songs are coming out w/ their own original songs. Boyce Avenue released their own EP. Their official music videos for their original songs have over 4.3m views. Hence, given their popularity it’s not uncommon that other YouTubers cover their own original songs. You can find their original music videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE592C5463BB7915E

        Many other YouTubers, like Austin Mahone, Lindsey Sterling, and Becky G have also gone on to release original music both before and after signing to labels.


        Reply
  4. Annabanana

    It’s interesting that they used Jenna Marbles as an example. I heard a few years ago that she makes on average $150k per month from her channel, including endorsements.


    Reply
  5. TuneHunter

    Fore moment YouTube is certified by labels master PIRATE of music industry.
    Nothing will change that fact until labels will make effort to make music merchandise again.

    United effort of music and book industry with support of mega artists connected with law makers can give us NEW FAIR USE DOCTRINE. Very difficult but possible considering Google lobby power and fact that mega stars are still treated well by YT, Spotify and live income.

    As is, large chunk of you tube is made by VEEVOO traitor converting, by my estimate, $20B of music to $1B in advertising.


    Reply
  6. Seth Keller

    I think it’s great that singers (and some musicians), comedians, gamers, etc. are using YouTube to reach an audience and make money. These are all people who would have been denied access to an audience through traditional channels (labels, TV networks, comedy clubs, etc.).

    If you’re doing music on YouTube and you want to use it to launch a career, you either have to have a gimmick or appeal to pre-teen and teen girls. According to the Mult-Channel Networks that specialize in promoting YouTubers, that demo is the engine that drives popularity and monetization on the outlet. They comprise the vast majority of video viewers and channel fans. Like anything else, there are a few exceptions, but if your target audience is a different demographic, YouTube should probably be an ancillary marketing tool and not your primary focus.


    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Meanwhile, YouTube committed suicide — rip.


    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Meghan Tonjes is a GREAT singer/songwriter. Her culture is the internet. Very interesting.


    Reply
  9. old fart

    Over 35, creepy? You just excluded everybody that’s ever made anything worth listening to but that’s my opinion. The new technology seems to be degrading the quality of the art in favor of hype over substance. Walmart mentality has finally won.


    Reply
    1. Versus

      Yes, that comment was unnecessary and a (hopefully unintentional) support of the retarded ageism of our culture.


      Reply
      1. Paul Resnikoff

        Technically, at 35+, you’d only be years from death in Biblical times.


        Reply
  10. DirtySoap

    I’m going to go a head and say I’d be surprised if any of the people making negitive comments are even making any money off their own music. Maybe you should stop all the whining and start making some money. Then share your success with the rest of us. Or, just prove me wrong now…..


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Er, I think you’re a little confused here: YouTube was a fantastic site! People made a good deal of money from their content, fans could find all the bands they loved, musicians could monetize user generated content and everybody was happy.

      True, the $1 billion YouTube paid to musicians over the past 8 years may not sound of much when YouTube made more than $5 billion in 2013 alone.

      But it was money, and YouTube was an important platform because artists could use it for non-cannibalizing previews combined with exclusive iTunes releases.

      However, it’s important to understand that Google’s new service has very little to do with YouTube.


      Reply
      1. hippydog

        Quote “artists could use it for non-cannibalizing previews”

        I’ve seen you or one of the many “anons” say that a few times..
        “non-cannibalizing previews”

        this “preview” thing your talking about.. i’m not seeing it.. not one bit.. for movies or shows/podcasts etc that are over 15 minutes.. sure.. for music? no..
        In every case I can think of, the full song is being put up..

        Different versions? sure (an artist might put up an acoustic version instead of the studio quality one)
        but thats not a “preview” (even under a very liberal definition)


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Previews were common, the most famous were of course Beyoncé’s.


          Reply
          1. hippydog

            Really?
            Can you point to three of them?:
            Cause every song in the top 20 I looked up was on Vevo or youtube full version..
            again..
            no “previews” that i am seeing..


            Reply
    2. Versus

      I’m making a living from my music. Even I were not, that would not invalidate my right to criticize YouTube and its propagandists.


      Reply
  11. hippydog

    Nothing like a generation gap to make me feel old ;-)

    My 8 year old child now spends as much free time watching some guy playing Minecraft as anything else..

    it was mind blowing to me the day i realized she was a “fan” , looked specifically for certain people who make the videos, and would rather watch someone play a game, then watch TV..
    In her eyes these people have as much “rock star status” as Taylor Swift.. not kidding..


    Reply
    1. Willis

      What’s this thing called the Internet?


      Reply
    2. Versus

      Maybe it’s time to restrict the child’s Internet time if that is how it is being spent.


      Reply
      1. hippydog

        Quote “Maybe it’s time to restrict the child’s Internet time if that is how it is being spent.”

        Based on what reasoning?
        Is watching someone play minecraft worse then playing it?
        Is watching TV any better?


        Reply
  12. Versus

    The comments from the YouTubers are an unintentional self-condemnation of the inanity of our culture.
    I, in my infinite naiveté and anachronistic desire for intellectual consistency, could not reconcile the following sage pearls of wisdom:

    – Be your authentic self! (What is that?)
    – Never be a character! (But isn’t even my “authentic self” a character?) (…and isn’t art all about fiction anyway?)
    – Be a brand!
    – Be a business!
    – Be positive! (What if my authentic self is nihilistic or suicidal?)
    – Respect yourself (What if my authentic self is a moron, egoist, superficial attention-seeker, social-climber, materialist, user, poseur, or music thief (I mean sharer)?)

    A little help?


    Reply
    1. GGG

      - Be your authentic self and you will find a niche that loves you (in theory), as opposed to trying to imitate something that’s already popular or be something you aren’t and come off as disingenuous
      – You can be a character if you want, but the idea is that they can wear thin on you pretty quickly and if you stop you’ll lose your audience
      – Be a brand, because you’re selling something, yourself
      – Be a business because you’re selling something, yourself

      Your last two comments are dumb so I’ll skip those.


      Reply
  13. NumbersDontLie

    For those on this blog complaining about YouTube, please post your iTunes sales figures in the comments section here so we can evaluate how much money you are losing because of YouTube. I am seriously interested in how you are affected by YouTube’s interest in innovation. I sense many of you are arguing your points in theory but are not being practical in terms of how the music business today impacts you.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Well, you can’t just talk about ‘YouTube’ anymore. You have to distinguish between the free YouTube and the censored ‘YouTube’.

      And artists did not lose money because of the free YouTube. On the contrary, they made money.

      The free YouTube was a blessing in many ways: Users could get everything they wanted for free — they could even mash up their favorite songs and upload the results without getting into trouble because of ContentID — and the site grew like crazy. Google made lots of money, right holders got paid, everybody was happy.

      Now it’s over, and it’s time to move on.


      Reply
  14. CrowfeatheR

    Hey, here is a question, how much was the synchronization license fees to legally perform and record Justin Timberlakes songs to video? I fully expect “bed sitters” to ignore the proper legal procedures and licensing to include someone elses composition in a film work, however, once you start monetizing someone elses work with youtube ads I would expect that you get the license. If the business platform requires the theft of someone elses music, I want no part of it.


    Reply
  15. steveh

    I am left with puzzlement and the overwhelming desire to ask:- What the fuck is a Music YouTuber?


    Reply
    1. Ari Herstand

      So “YouTuber” has become a term that popular personalities on YouTube have adopted. They are famous on, for all intents and purposes, on one platform: YouTube. These aren’t household names, however many of them have more subscribers and followers than household names. They typically fall within a subculture of society, apart from the ‘mainstream.’ You may find them pop up on Ellen, The Tonight Show or New York Times discussing a popular video, but they are constant creators. YouTubers usually put out content a few times a month. Regularly. YouTubers range from makeup instructionals to vloggers (ie Jenna Marbles) to amateur scientists to comedians to dancers to musicians.

      The common thread all YouTubers have is that they connect with their audience on a very intimate, personal level. There’s virtually no mystique and YouTubers invite their audience into their personal lives. They have a deep relationship with their audience – moreso than the mainstream stars of the moment. I’d argue many YouTubers will have longer lasting fanbases based on the nature of the fan-YouTuber relationship.


      Reply
      1. steveh

        Yes OK but you haven’t answered my question – I want to know what is a MUSIC You Tuber! It because of this:-

        Music is a universal language and communicates very specially and uniquely through a whole variety of mediums, including live performance, broadcast, recording etc etc To restrict one’s music art to one single medium ie Youtube – particularly one that is now owned by what is being increasingly revealed to be a truly nasty and power crazed corporation is absolutely incomprehensible – and to be honest the whole concept from a musical point of view is complete and utter shite.

        Sure we all use Youtube as a video vehicle – but it’s just a way of showing your videos – nothing else. And certainly no substitute for live performance on a stage.

        Have any “Music Youtubers” made successful records or played and wowed crowds at any festivals (for example)? Please tell me more…


        Reply

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