May 13, 2013

#IndyDay13: Jeff Price, Founder of Tunecore, on Making Money with Music on YouTube

This weekend, the Philadelphia Chapter of The GRAMMYs hosted a fantastic event dedicated to successful careers as an independent musician called Independent's Day. It was a great day with interesting people presenting thought-provoking ideas on the present and future of the music industry. I'll try to share some of those bigger ideas throughout the week via posts and I have to start with a great presentation given by Tony Van Veen, of CD Baby, and Jeff Price, founder of Tunecore, on how musicians can make money from YouTube.

Option 1 
Have you ever watched a music video on YouTube and had an advertisement played or displayed? Musicians can easily use the same technique to make money with their videos. Jeff and Tony's presentation explained that all you have to do to participate is create a YouTube channel and then choose to become a partner. You can learn more about how to do that here. This means musicians have the potential to make money from music videos, live performance footage, videos of adventures on tour, and even non-music videos- like showing fans how to cook a favorite recipe - or anything else you can imagine. This is fantastic for both musicians and fans because it gives musicians the ability to increase their income while giving fans new content.

Option 2

Jeff explained that there are three distinct copyrights within a YouTube video that contains music: the video itself, the recording of the song, and the actual song itself. If you own one or both of the musical copyrights (if you write your songs and haven't signed a publishing or record deal, you probably do) you can claim your music if it is used in a video that someone else posts. This means that if someone posts a video and uses your song in it you have the potential to make money from that video because you own the song. It's a bit counter intuitive since YouTube has frequently been a copyright battleground within the music industry, but it creates an interesting potential for musicians to make money by encouraging fans to participate online and actively share their music on YouTube. For example, musicians could ask fans to cover their song or create a video dancing to it and then claim the music from. It's an interesting concept that leads to a range of creative ways to engage fans while earning money and, as Jeff pointed out during the presentation, you could potentially turn YouTube into Kickstarter and use it to fund your music.

Jeff Price will be speaking about this topic on May 16th in San Francisco. You can get tickets and information here. You can also learn more about making money with YouTube from this blog post on CD Baby. 

Music Industry News from Jeff Price
If you're a bit of a music industry nerd, or were a fan of Tunecore and Jeff's insightful blog posts, you probably know that Jeff is no longer working with the company he founded. So, you may have been wondering what the music business thought-leader and indie artist advocate will be up to next. Well, this weekend he revealed that and it sounds exciting. Jeff mentioned, for the first time publicly, that he will be launching a site called Audiem (that may not be the correct spelling, apologies if it isn't) which will help artists easily get their money from YouTube. If his past work and this weekend's insightful presentation are any indication of what's to come, then it will certainly be a company to watch. Can't wait to see what he will do with it!
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