How to Upload & Promote Your Music on YouTube Shorts

    YouTube Shorts have arrived! As with any new feature added to a social or streaming platform, this brings fresh opportunities to promote your music and potentially go viral in the short-form video space!

    With 2 billion users visiting YouTube every month, it's clear that YouTube remains a dominant force in the video world, even with the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels. YouTube is where it all started, and it's still a go-to platform for discovering new creators, music, and artists. So, how can independent artists leverage YouTube Shorts to boost their YouTube music promotion even further? Let's dive in!



    What are YouTube Shorts?

    YouTube Shorts are exactly what they sound like: brief versions of YouTube videos. Similar to TikTok and Instagram videos, Shorts are short, shareable vertical videos that you can create directly from your smartphone using the YouTube app. These videos can range from 15 to 60 seconds, making them perfect for viral skits, dance trends, lip-sync challenges, and more. Unlike Stories on YouTube and Instagram, Shorts remain on your channel as long as you want, accumulating views and engagement over time. You can access YouTube Shorts by clicking on the "Shorts" tab at the bottom of your mobile app.

    Alternatively, Shorts can also appear on an artist's or channel homepage in a specific “Shorts” section.



    Why should musicians leverage YouTube Shorts to promote their music?

    Just like Spotify's music algorithm, YouTube Shorts are governed by the app's internal algorithm, and currently, YouTube is prioritizing Shorts over other video formats on the platform.

    So, if you can't beat the algorithm, join it!

    By creating your own Shorts and engaging in the Shorts space, you'll increase the likelihood of your videos (and your music) reaching a broader audience that you wouldn't typically be able to target.

    Still skeptical? Here's the data to back it up.

    A study from 2022 found that Shorts have 1.5 billion monthly logged-in viewers, rivaling TikTok, and Shorts generate over 30 billion views per day.

    For musicians, Shorts is definitely where you need to be!

    Music discovery from Shorts can come from various sources, such as music hashtags, the YouTube homepage, and search.



    How to add music to YouTube Shorts

    Adding your own music to YouTube Shorts is one of the best features of the app. Once you start releasing your music to YouTube Music through Highvibes, your song will be available alongside millions of others in the Shorts music library.

    Here are 10-step guide to creating a YouTube Short and adding your music:

    1. Sign in to the YouTube app.

    2. Tap “create” and then tap “create a short.”

    3. Choose the length of your short by tapping '15' above the record button. You can record clips up to 60 seconds long.

    4. Click “speed” to adjust the speed of the video.

    5. Tap “timer” to set the countdown, record hands-free, and choose when to stop recording automatically.

    6. Add your song or sound by searching for it in the YouTube audio library. Click “add sound” to search and select a sound (you can also add a sound after recording by tapping the “sound” button at the bottom of the edit screen).

    7. Start recording by tapping and holding the “capture” button.

    8. If you’re happy with the clip, tap “done” to preview and then “next” to add details like captions.

    9. Add a title (max 100 characters).

    10. Click “upload” to finish.



    Five strategies to promote your music on YouTube Shorts

    Now that you're familiar with creating, adding your music to, and uploading Shorts, let's explore effective approaches to leverage your Shorts content for promoting and discovering your music!

    Just like promoting your music on TikTok, Instagram Reels, or other short-form social media platforms, similar principles apply to Shorts.

    Here are the main points to keep in mind:

    1. Simplify things

    Viral content thrives on its simplicity and entertainment value, which makes it highly shareable and engaging. Avoid overthinking by focusing on casual, relatable content that resonates with your audience. Just switch on your camera, hit record, and see where your creativity takes you!

    2. Identify the key musical highlights or moments

    When crafting a short-form video featuring your own track, simply adding the music isn't usually sufficient.

    You must think more creatively.

    You must pinpoint the 'musical moment'.

    This refers to the pivotal 15 seconds or so of your song that will inspire others to create their own tutorials, dances, or trends—with those 15 seconds prominently featured.

    This is crucial because it applies to many songs that have gone viral on other short-form platforms.


    Because while you may consider your track excellent from start to finish, often it's the innovative and unique treatment of a song that keeps it trending on the explore pages for extended periods.



    3. Emphasize the visual aspect


    Think visually. Keep your focus on the visual aspects of your video content.

    Brainstorm creative and enjoyable ways to enhance your Shorts with visual excitement beyond straightforward recordings. For those inclined towards comedy, integrating memes can be particularly effective. Overlaying your music with a humorous skit can capture attention and entertain viewers, encouraging them to share with their friends.

    If memes aren't your style, that's alright too. There's a wealth of trending content and challenges already circulating that you can leverage without needing to create your own. Explore what's popular on the discovery pages and consider how you can integrate existing content to complement your music or artist persona in a unique and innovative manner.



    4. Maintain consistency to enhance productivity

    Becoming a recognized content creator might not happen overnight (though a viral video could change that in an instant!).

    However, building a loyal following as a video creator hinges on consistency. Regularly appearing on your audience's screens increases the likelihood of gaining recognition and having your music resonate with viewers. Given the rapid pace of short-form content, frequent posting can amplify your visibility and solidify your online footprint.



    5. Pay attention to what your fans love

    Another crucial point to consider when selecting which songs to feature creatively: don't overlook your existing catalog. Specifically, focus on songs that have resonated well with your fans in the past or have the potential to go viral due to their catchiness.

    Having a track record of past hits increases the likelihood that your Shorts will resonate with listeners. Additionally, exploring your back catalog can unearth opportunities to repurpose content and introduce it to new audiences.

    Pro Tip: Use Shorts as an extension of your current YouTube content strategy. If you've already released music videos for previous tracks, Shorts can serve as a tool to reintroduce these videos to fresh audiences and attract new listeners.



    In 2024, leveraging Shorts for music promotion is a crucial opportunity for musicians.

    Short-form and social media platforms are transforming the music industry by propelling artists onto charts, sparking viral trends, and providing a worldwide platform for DIY musicians to gain recognition.

    Don't miss out—now is the time to engage and seize the opportunity!


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