If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the last couple of years covering musicians on YouTube, it’s that they don’t rely solely on Google’s online video service to make their money.
Take a cappella artist Peter Hollens, who has 1.4 million subscribers and 186m views on his YouTube channel. In an interview with NPR, Hollens outlined his income streams. “I need to make sure that I am having my hand in every cookie jar possible,” he said. “So whether that is ad revenue from YouTube… digital streams from Spotify, Apple, purchases of physical sales or brand deals because I’m an influencer online. And so I can work with companies like Disney and Royal Caribbean and funding from my supporters.” The latter is Hollens’ profile on Patreon, where 1,637 fans pay him just under $7.6k every time he releases a new music video. “I think if you want to make a living doing music now that the best way to do it is to kind of treat yourself like a Silicon Valley startup, and I think this is the future,” said Hollens, whose YouTube success led to a Sony Music album deal in 2014.