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How Animators and Musicians Make Money From YouTube

February 16th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
     This is something I'm just throwing out there not for creators but more actually for fans to know how to best support their favorite artists.  It's counter-intuitive, but YouTube does not actually pay much, even if the following or view count is largest there.  This is why many creators have links to stores, merch, Patreon, and other platforms.  The ones that manage to make enough from YouTube directly to live on have to upload several videos a week, which is not feasible for animators or composers that take weeks or months just to finish one video.  Just for perspective, some of these animators/musicians I'm referring to have 10M+ views on multiple videos, but they still make almost nothing from YouTube.  For them, YouTube is more just a beacon to get followers but not actually make money - so if you do follow an artist that has links to other platforms, please do make sure to check those out.

     For musicians I know, the main source of revenue for pretty much all of them at this time is Spotify (or other music streaming platform like iTunes), which pays the artist each time you listen to a track.  So if you want to best support them, that is the way to go rather than listening through their YouTube channel, even though again that's where most the followers and views are.  This varies of course, but pretty much all the musicians I know (indie/online-only) have over 2x the followers/views on YouTube vs Spotify, yet YouTube makes basically nothing for them while Spotify+iTunes is their main income.  Straight up buying their tracks/albums on Bandcamp/Amazon or other stores is great too, but that's sort of a one-time payment, whereas on streaming platforms they get paid each time you listen - the same goes for merch sales, etc.  If you can, do both, since ultimately where you choose to listen to the track doesn't cost you anything but only benefits the artist more.

     My main motivation for posting this is that a lot of time, a musician I know may make money mainly on Spotify, iTunes, or other streaming platforms but have the majority of their views/followers on YouTube which doesn't pay them.  It's just something that I think if more people knew, they would take the extra click to go on the right site before setting to auto-play in the background (Or if it's an animation, do check out their Patreon or whatever it is they link to - that's the only way they get paid for the video).  This isn't talked about much from artists themselves, I think because it seems self-promoting, so I figure as an outsider, I could help shed some light to hopefully benefit both sides.
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