Three Strategies for Growing Your Subscriptions on YouTube in 2021

YouTube is one of the largest digital media platforms for musicians currently. It’s where users consume music videos, it’s where they search out your past live performances, and it’s a great way for independent artists to tell their stories. Today, we are talking about three strategies for growing your subscriptions on YouTube to give you a path to a successful year.

We will go into each in depth below, but first, let’s talk about the three YouTube strategies we are looking at today.

  1. Craft Your Brand Story on YouTube
  2. Diversify Content On YouTube
  3. Get an Official Artist Channel on YouTube

As we walk through the ins and outs of these three strategies, we will formulate a plan for you to optimize your YouTube channel. This plan will help you grow your subscriptions and ultimately further your career as a musician.

With all of that said, let’s get into it here and put our plan together.

Craft Your Brand Story on YouTube

Your music and your music career are both a business and a brand. Whenever you create an online profile for yourself or your band, you need to think about it in the context of your brand. A brand is like a theme of who you are.

Some of this will be personal and specific to you as an artist. That said, here are a few standards that should be a part of all independent artists’ brands.

  • Well written bio sections with links to other profiles of yours
  • High-quality images
  • High-quality music and content
  • Engaging with your audience

With some of the general principles in place, let’s now look at how we specifically can create our brand story on YouTube.

In your bio, lead with your value proposition. Who you are, what your story is, and what your goals all are, are fine to talk about. But, assume each visitor to your page is going to only read the first line of your bio before they determine if they will give you a chance or not. Sell them on your brand instantly.

Song descriptions and using hashtags that your audience searches on are both very important. Again, know your audience, position yourself properly, and demonstrate value.

Lastly, brand all of your content with a quick logo or animation accompanied by music as an intro and/or outro to all of your videos. This consistency and work will help you build your brand.

Diversify Content on YouTube

We cannot stress this enough! We see way too many artists convince that a song is just one piece of content so they need to produce as many songs as possible to have more content.


A piece of music can be repurposed into so many smaller pieces of content and failing to do so is a missed opportunity. Releasing too many songs can lead to over-saturation and you draining your creative tank too quickly.

The good news is that we have some suggestions of ways that you can turn songs into many individual pieces of content. This strategy will build up your YouTube channel and of course, increase your subscriptions, without requiring you to create new music.

Music Video

This is probably the most obvious which makes it a perfect place to start. Making a music video for your song puts a face and story on the song for your audience. They can be costly and time-consuming, but doing them for your best songs is always a great idea.

Animated & Lyric Videos

These are a more budget-friendly alternative for artists to create a visual element for their songs. It’s a great way to get more of your existing catalog up on YouTube and will help you repurpose more of your existing music.

Live Performances & Acoustic Songs

Fans want a connection with the artists they listen to. Live performances and acoustic performances are a great way to get intimate with your audience. It gives a fresh spin our your existing catalog of music.

Go Live on YouTube

A live broadcast is a great tool for artists. Play your music, Q&A’s with your fans, give access to behind-the-scenes of your recording, etc. The point is, interact and be raw with your audience.

The overall point is that there are many ways to create new content on your channel and to grow your fanbase.

Get an Official Artist Channel on YouTube

Okay, we are at the last best practice for growing your YouTube subscriptions here. Now we’re taking a look at getting an Official Artist Channel on YouTube.

First, here is what an Official Artist Channel is:

According to Google “If you’re an artist on YouTube, your Official Artist Channel (OAC) brings together all your content from your different YouTube channels into one place. The channel automatically programs your music catalog on two new shelves, including your music videos, songs, and albums.”

This all sounds great, but what does it really mean for artists? Again, here is Google’s explanation of what artists get here.

  • Organized content: The Official Artist Channel layout automatically organizes your discography into an album section and your Official Music Videos into a new playlist. You have the option to move, delete and re-add either of these auto-generated music sections from your channel.
  • Promotional content: Choose what you want to highlight in the featured video slot.
  • Fan engagement: One verified and official channel where you can directly reach and interact with your fans on YouTube.

This all speaks to the branding that we mentioned earlier. An OAC gives you the most organized and valuable presentation as an artist on YouTube. It’s a great way to start to stand out in the crowd.

Now we understand what is in it for you, but how do you get one of these sought-after OAC’s? Here are the parameters listed on the Google Support page.

  • Own and operate a YouTube channel that represents one artist or band
  • Have at least 3 official releases on YouTube delivered and distributed by a music distributor or label
  • Have no policy violations on your channel

And one of the following:

  • Work with a YouTube Partner Manager
  • Be part of the YouTube Partner Program
  • Your channel is part of a label network that works with a Partner Manager

If this is you, then great, get started today. If it isn’t, then set up your game plan to get to this point and then get an OAC. We covered a lot today, but the overall strategy should be clear. Set up a plan and fully maximize the opportunity that you have on YouTube. It’s an extremely valuable tool for artists, and you have the power to grow your fanbase with the right strategy.


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