How to get an Official Artist Channel on YouTube

Do you want more control over your music and branding on the #1 streaming platform in the world?

Then you need an Official Artist Channel on YouTube.

We’re really excited to give CD Baby clients first access to YouTube artist verification, helping you claim your Official Artist Channel from within your CD Baby dashboard!

What is an Official Artist Channel?

An Official Artist Channel (or OAC) gives you a simpler way to manage your music, amplify your brand, and talk to your fans on YouTube.

Without an Official Artist Channel, your YouTube presence might feel a bit scattered. The videos you upload would be housed on your own channel; Art Tracks delivered by CD Baby would reside in YouTube Music Topic Channels; and whatever videos other people create using your music (known as UGC, or “user-generated content”) exist on any number of other channels.

Without an Official Artist Channel, your fans aren’t certain where to go, which channel to subscribe to, or what to watch in order to get the “official” presentation of you as an artist.

Until now!

Getting verified for an Official Artist Channel on YouTube solves those problems. And with CD Baby as your distributor, it’s easy.

Once you’re verified, your Official Artist Channel on YouTube will allow you to:

  • consolidate all your videos in one place
  • combine subscribers and watch-time across multiple channels
  • and access deeper analytics and exclusive tools

Why should you have an Official Artist Channel?

1. Organized content simplifies your life and amplifies your brand

An OAC isn’t a new channel actually; it’s a new layout for your YouTube content.

With an Official Artist Channel, you’ll be able to present a more unified artist image on YouTube and you can take a curatorial approach to the content that has been consolidated on your OAC.

The OAC layout organizes your music catalog into an Album section, and your Official Music Videos are gathered together as a playlist featured towards the top of your channel.

2. YOU choose what to highlight

You don’t want other channels deciding what your most important content is; with an Official Artist Channel, you promote what you want.

In order to provide a consistent experience for your fans on YouTube, you CANNOT edit the album section and the video playlist mentioned above, but you DO have two important ways to customize your YouTube Official Artist Channel and get the most eyes on the most important stuff:

  • The Promotional Shelf: This customizable section can be placed on your channel page ABOVE the locked video and album sections.
  • The Featured Video Slot: Place your priority video right there at the top for everyone to see.

3. Your music will be more discoverable in YouTube searches

Fans will be linked directly to your Official Artist Channel from a “watch card” on the right side of the screen. No more wondering where to go, what to watch, or which channel to subscribe to.

4. You’ll be more likely to engage with all your fans

Having one verified channel means most of your fan engagement will be happening in one place too. That makes it way easier for you to monitor activity, respond to comments, give shout outs, reward top fans, and more.

5. Combining stats across channels gives you more reach

Not only do your videos and music content get consolidated in one channel, so do the metrics.

Subscribers across Topic Channels will be combined with your own channel subscribers.

Watch time and other engagement stats across Topic Channels and your own channel will count together towards the overall performance of one single channel, which gives your OAC more power and your videos more potential reach via YouTube’s recommendation engines.

6. Unified metrics means more monetization potential

CD Baby already helps you monetize your music wherever eligible on YouTube via Content ID.

But there’s a difference between monetizing audio assets on the platform and monetizing your own channel. In order to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), your channel has to meet some minimum guidelines related to annual watch-time, total subscribers, etc. With an Official Artist Channel, the consolidation of videos, music, and Art Tracks — along with the consolidation of all the accompanying metrics — means your O.A.C. will be closer to reaching or surpassing the minimum requirements for channel monetization.

7. You get more comprehensive analytics and special features

When you have an Official Artist Channel, you can:

Will I lose control of my own channel?


To clarify, an Official Artist Channel is a way of combining your channel content with your videos and tracks on YouTube Music — but it’s still YOUR channel.

It’s just… official now. Verified. As such, your Official Artist Channel must conform to certain layout standards that YouTube deems most beneficial for user experience (for instance, the locked album section and video playlist section mentioned above).

You still have a great deal of control over your channel, and have a lot of customization options.

How will my music and videos appear on an Official Artist Channel?

Your Official Artist Channel will look very similar to the YouTube channel you’ve been managing thus far:

  1. You’ll have a customizable header image at the top.
  2. Then there’s a featured video section which can be customized separately for first-time visitors and returning subscribers.
  3. Next you’ll have a customizable shelf to promote the content that’s most important.
  4. This is followed by your locked album and music video sections.
  5. After that, you have complete control over the sections, and can populate them with anything you like: your own video playlists, UGC, other artists’ content on YouTube, etc.

Am I eligible for a YouTube Official Artist Channel?

CD Baby can help you get verified for an Official Artist Channel, as long as you meet the following requirements:

  • You own a YouTube channel that represents a single artist or band
  • You have at least 1 official release on YouTube Music distributed by CD Baby
  • You have NO policy violations on your channel

Get verified for an Official Artist Channel on YouTube.

If you’re using CD Baby to distribute your music to digital music platforms, we’ve already delivered your albums and singles to YouTube Music. When we do, YouTube automatically generates a “Topic” channel in your name. Claiming your Official Artist Channel gives you the tools you need to merge that Topic channel content with your own artist channel.

With CD Baby, it’s easy to claim your YouTube Official Artist Channel from within your CD Baby dashboard:

  1. Go HERE
  2. Click “Get Access” for the appropriate artist
  3. Wait for a confirmation email from YouTube (this can take about 2 weeks to receive)
  4. IMPORTANT: do NOT delete your YouTube channel after you request an Official Artist Channel.

What should I do once I own my Official Artist Channel on YouTube?

Once you’re verified, get in there and start customizing your OAC! While you’re at it, be sure to explore some of the new tools you have access to.

Your Official Artist Channel is going to simplify your YouTube content and channel management. That means more time for making great music and videos, talking with your subscribers, and growing your presence on the platform. And now that you’ve got ONE place to point everyone, hopefully you’ll see some quick gains in growing your audience on YouTube as well.

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