The platform has been built. Millions of creators are using it. Now YouTube is taking steps to make sure creators keep using it. The latest example is YouTube For Artists, a “how to” guide for getting the most out of YouTube. “What we’re doing in a sense is putting the wisdom of the experts in the hands of everyone,” says Vivien Lewit, director of music partnerships at the streaming giant.
YouTube For Artists is a music-focused version of its YouTube Creator Hub, a destination for resources and best practices for YouTube creators which Lewit says gets over one million viewers each month. It’s also an extension of the workshops, such as YouTube Music Nashville, that teach creators how to maximize their presence on the platform.
There is a strategic element here. So many digital services provide tools and helpful information that these things have become a basic cost of doing business. Spotify For Artists is a collection of tools, best practices and explanation of the service. Pandora launched a set of data and visualization tools called AMP in October. Bandsintown debuted a suite of analytical tools in February. Bandcamp provides artists with real-time statistics. The list goes on.
YouTube already goes to great lengths to engage creators. It has YouTube Spaces in 5 cities — Los Angeles, New York, London, Tokyo and São Paulo — where creators can record high-quality videos in studios provided by YouTube. The company has also hosted a series of creators workshops, such as YouTube Music Nashville in partnership with the Country Music Association, that teach creators some basics in production and programming.
YouTube For Artists will be available globally but initially will be offered only in English. A Google spokesperson says YouTube For Artists will later be translated into different languages.
YouTube says visitors will be taught tips like how to get their YouTube views to lead to placement on Billboard’s charts, airtime on SiriusXM and NRJ in France. There will be tips on fan funding — effectively an online tip jar on a subscriber’s YouTube page — and info cards, the interactive annotations that can be placed on videos. It will also have information on free production resources at the various YouTube Space locations around the world.
Perhaps the most applicable tool will arrive after launch. In the coming weeks or months, YouTube will debut an analytical tool that will provide viewer information on a city level, with data going back to fall of 2013. This should help artists route tours or which time zone to release an upcoming video. YouTube will give previews of the data tool at its SXSW party on Wednesday and Thursday March 18th and 19th.