Introduced last year, Official Artist Channels bring together videos from different accounts that musicians might maintain into one place to provide a more optimized layout. YouTube is now planning to merge those channels into a more unified one.
YouTube frames this merger as providing fans with a unified place to explore content from an artist, while making it easier to find a musician when searching thanks to a new musical note icon denoting the official account:
Uniting subscribers under one channel means you’ll be able to go deeper and explore all of the content from the artists you love. For fans looking for music from the artists they love, finding the Official Artist Channel for an artist will soon be as simple as searching for their name on YouTube. You can also identify the Official Artist Channel by looking for the artist icon (the musical note) in YouTube search and on the channel page.
As part of this move, users will soon see a change to their Subscriptions. Notably, those who follow other “unofficial” artist channels will have those subscriptions become “inactive,” while they’ll automatically be subscribed to the Official Artist Channel. It’s unclear whether those unofficial accounts will remain and whether they can be re-followed.
The Official Artist Channel is a single destination that gives you access to an artist’s full body of work, so you’ll now receive notifications solely from the Official Artist Channel whenever new videos are uploaded or when an artist wants to send a message to their fans.
Meanwhile, artists will benefit from increased subscriber counts and increased reach.
It also gives you (and your team if you’ve got one) control over your presence and the opportunity to engage directly with your fans through YouTube features like Community Posts, Mobile Live and Ticketing.
This change likely appeases labels and the music industry who have long complained about piracy on the network. Just last year, YouTube signed a deal with the big three labels ahead of its rumored upcoming subscription service. The agreements reportedly involved labels extracting some concessions related to copyrighted content in user uploads.
The wider rollout of Official Artist Channels and these other changes will occur over the coming weeks.