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YouTube Unveils Plans to Benefit Artists & Songwriters: Consolidating Content, Implementing ID System

YouTube announced plans on Tuesday to consolidate artist's channels on its platform, uniting all an artist's subscribers under their Official Artist Channel.

YouTube announced plans on Tuesday (Jan. 23) to consolidate artist’s channels on its platform, uniting all an artist’s subscribers under their Official Artist Channel. 

The effect will be a streamlining of the service, combining any separate channels dedicated to music videos, live performances, full albums or individual songs under a single destination. 

The changes will equally impact all music partners, most notably Vevo channels, making Official Artist Channels denoted with a musical note the first thing users will find in a search. Veto channels, among others, will still be accessible via advanced channel filter in YouTube’s search and if a user is specifically searching for the Vevo channel. 


In regards to Vevo, the service’s videos will still be featured in artists’ Official Artist Channels and if an artist does not have an Official Artist Channel and only a Vevo channel, the Vevo channel will still appear in search.

Any subscribers to these “unofficial” artist channels such as Vevo will start being sent notifications solely from the Official Artist Channels when new content is uploaded. 

YouTube will expand the rollout of its new Official Artist Channels to artists on the platform over the coming weeks.

The move comes after all three major labels last year renewed their licensing agreements with YouTube and ahead of the reported launch of a new subscription music streaming service

In another move to better serve artists, the company has also become a registration agency for the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) system, meaning it will now start requesting and issuing ISNI codes to and from creators who publish content on the platform. The ISNI system allows musicians and songwriters to be more effectively identified for proper attribution and royalty payments. 


For musicians and songwriters who do not already have ISNI codes, YouTube will allocating numbers and share them with any of the artist’s record label or other business partners to encourage wider use of the ISNI system. 

“By adopting ISNI, artists, songwriters and other creators will be unambiguously identified, enabling better visibility and tracking on YouTube,” said YouTube’s technical program manager FX Nuttall in a statement. “Bringing the ISNI open standard to music opens the door to more accurate credit for creators, discovery for fans, and transparency for the industry.”

Added Tim Devenport, executive director, ISNI International Agency: “We’re delighted to partner with YouTube on such an ambitious effort. Many organisations active in the music sector have already shown interest in using ISNI identifiers as part of the infrastructure they need to manage rights and royalties effectively. Working closely with YouTube, ISNI is very pleased to contribute its experience and skill-sets to these critical objectives. 

“We view this as a transformative opportunity to offer the music industry a valuable identifier scheme and in so doing, to deepen ISNI’s knowledge of this domain and improve its technical facilities and approaches.”