YouTube For Artists should help musicians better engage with their fans.

YouTube’s potential as a platform for musicians has arguably been lagging behind SoundCloud for some time. In terms of music it’s largely been a place for major labels to harvest advertising revenue from Vevo channels and for fans to upload and stream old material, lacking the insight tools to help musicians engage with their fans.

YouTube wants to change that however, starting a new initiative called YouTube For Artists. Launched yesterday (March 16), it offers tools aimed at helping musicians gain insight into who is viewing their videos and where, which should help musicians to plan their tours accordingly.

The service is also aimed at ensuring musicians generate more revenue from their music. The service homepage features tips for becoming a revenue-generating YouTube Partner,  and the Content ID feature should ensure any musician is paid when their music is used on fan-made videos.

YouTube has also launched a new cards tool to replace user annotations, some of which are aimed at helping musicians make revenue direct from their videos. The new cards allow creators to add links and images as well as information, and come in six categories including video links, playlist links, associated websites merchandise, fundraising and fan funding. The latter three should be most relevant to musicians, allowing them to sell T-shirts or fund tours straight from a YouTube video.

The new cards have already been rolled out, but the insights tool is “coming soon” according to YouTube. You can find our more at the YouTube For Artists page, or watch the introductory video below.

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