Can You Make Money From Music Videos in 2021?

can you make money from music videos in 2021 - decibel peak
can you make money from music videos in 2021 - decibel peak
can you make money from music videos in 2021 - decibel peak

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You can make as much money from music videos as the platform you host them on permits.

For example, that would be about $7 per 1000 views on Vevo and an average of $3 – $5 per 1000 views on YouTube. That doesn’t sound too exciting, but did you know that there’s another way?

In fact, there are THREE business models you can use to monetize your music videos.

  • Ad-Supported Video on Demand (AVOD)
  • Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD)
  • Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD)

YouTube/Vevo is ad-supported (AVOD) which is why the revenue is so low AND remember…

You only get a percentage of the ad revenue on your videos (usually less than 50%).

Although Vevo may seem better, I’m telling you that there’s a MUCH BETTER alternative…

The distribution service Vimeo offers is the best way to make money from your music videos in 2021. With Vimeo on Demand, you’ll get to choose between every form of monetization (AVOD, TVOD and SVOD) and also have access to Vimeo OTT/Vimeo Live Pay-Per-View.

Depending on how you plan your strategy, you can potentially earn $260 per 1000 views on platforms like Vimeo.

So, if you want to learn how to REALLY make money from music videos, then keep reading…

How To Monetize Your Music Videos on YouTube

Uploading your music video(s) on YouTube is definitely easy, but is it the best way to make a sustainable living from your work?

Just to be clear, music videos can also be live performances.

That being said, YouTube definitely has the tools (video hosting, live streaming, etc…) you need to host your content, BUT…

Does it have everything you need to MONETIZE your content?

Traditionally, the only way to monetize your music video(s) on YouTube was through ad revenue.

However, most content creators overlook the new monetization options that YouTube has introduced in recent years. For example…

  • Paid Subscriptions
  • Tipping/Pledging

That being said, is it really beneficial if you’re ONLY releasing music videos?

I personally think that these additional forms of monetization are great for “YouTubers”, but I still don’t think that YouTube is the best platform to host your music videos.

What about Vevo though? It’s still on YouTube, so it must be good…

Well, did you know that Vevo also has its own streaming platform/website?

How To Monetize Your Music Videos on Vevo

You’ve most likely watched music videos on YouTube that were from “Vevo” channels.

Getting your own Vevo channel is actually much easier than expected.

Here are a few places you can check out if you’re interested…

Ditto Music is one of the most affordable ways to do that AND distribute your music.

However, remember that you’ll only make an average of $7 per 1000 views. That’s only slightly higher than YouTube and it only takes place if fans watch your video on Vevo’s platform.

Sure, it’s nice to have a Vevo channel on YouTube, but is it really worth it?

The only thing I personally like about Vevo is that it can also distribute your music video to an extensive list of syndication partners which can be FOUND HERE.

That’s an excellent way to get some exposure, but will it really work for you?

How To Monetize Your Music Videos on Vimeo

The most sustainable way to make money from music videos is by using Vimeo.

As I stated in the introduction, Vimeo offers a much more comprehensive list of services for content creators than YouTube/Vevo…

  • Ad-Supported
  • Subscription
  • Transactional (Pay-Per-View)

You’re already with ad-supported video hosting platforms like YouTube and Vevo, but Vimeo is much more like internet radio. That’s if you go with a subscription-based model.

If that’s the case, you’ll need to create LOTS of content to keep your subscribers tuned-in.

If your act is more of performance, then you might prefer the Vimeo Live Pay-Per-View option which is essentially a transactional-based business model.

Think of it like selling tickets to a show…

That being said, Vimeo has all the tools you need to host your own live streams. It even offers Vimeo OTT to content creators looking for a branded solution.

For example, Vimeo OTT allows you to create a branded viewing experience (an app) for Android, iOS, Apple TV, Roku and more.

That’s how you can make MORE MONEY with your music videos on Vimeo.

Summary: Can you make money from music videos in 2021?

It might seem enticing to use the conventional YouTube/Vevo to host your music videos, BUT…

It’s much better to go with Vimeo if you’re in it for the long run.

If you TRULY want to make a sustainable living from your music videos/performances, then you should consider different forms of monetization (ad-supported, subscription and transactional).

However, it’s definitely not a bad idea to start with YouTube/Vevo first.

If the channel works, that’s when you should start thinking about scaling it by using the solutions that Vimeo offers to content creators.

Until then, I strongly recommend reading some other articles I’ve written on the subject of monetizing your music-related endeavours…

If you have any questions about what you’ve read today, feel free to drop me a line in the comments and to share your own experiences in regards to monetizing music videos.

Don’t forget to support Decibel Peak on Patreon if you enjoy the content and to join us on Discord for exclusive updates, interesting discussions and more!


Stefan Chamberland

Stefan Chamberland

Stefan is a highly proficient sound professional who specializes in sound for picture. His journey into sound production began at the young age of 16, where he initially produced music that went on to feature on local television. Today, Stefan utilizes his extensive expertise to record production sound and lead the audio post-production process for a variety of projects in the TV, Film, and New Media industry. Driven by his passion for sound for picture, Stefan founded Decibel Peak, a platform designed to empower and support emerging sound professionals while contributing to the growth of the industry.

6 thoughts on “Can You Make Money From Music Videos in 2021?”

    • Hey Peter,

      That’s a difficult question to answer as there isn’t a definite answer.

      For the most part, music videos are generally not the best way to make money. They’re more costly to produce than the actual music and would generate about the same revenue per stream.

      In other words, your financial success in the music industry depends largely on your ability to promote yourself and create a loyal following.

      At the end of the day, all it takes is one hit to make someone famous. Then again, there are artists that create hundreds of of songs/videos and never get anywhere.

      I hope that provides some clarity. Let me know if you have other questions.

      All the best!

      – Stefan

  1. Thank you for your useful tips and I have some questions concerned with YouTube, VEVO and VIMEO videos’ royalties.

    If I posted my song with a decent music video, as far as I understand upon that I will get mechanical and performance royalties for the song I posted. The question is that how about the royalties for my video content if I have ISAN code for the audiovisual work? OR YouTube only pays the royalties based upon the whole content (song + music video) ? Same question for the VEVO and VIMEO.
    The main thing I want to know is that the royalties for the audiovisual works. Thanks.

    • Hello Nyan,

      YouTube isn’t the entity that pays you your royalties. YouTube will only pay you for ad revenue (if you monetize your videos).

      It’s organizations like BMI, ASCAP, SoundExchange, Songtrust, etc… That are responsible for the administration of royalties.

      You can read my articles on the subject of collecting royalties if you want more information…

      – Performance Royalties
      – Mechanical Royalties

      From what I understand, an ISAN code is similar to a UPC/EAN code which is simply used to identify a work (in this case, an audiovisual work).

      If you’re asking me how royalties work for the VISUAL component of an audio visual work, that’s outside of my expertise.

      If you have any questions about the audio-side of royalty administration, feel free to reply. I’ll look into it for you.

      I hope that helps, thanks for your question!

      – Stefan


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