YouTube merges artist channel subscriptions


YouTube has mailed users to alert them to changes in how artist channel subscriptions will now work – part of an effort to pull together all the channels an artist might run/be associated with into one location.

This, for want of a better term, “channel hopping” by artists – where their own channel, a partner-provided channel and a topic channel can all exist concurrently – can result in a messy and disjointed experience for fans. YouTube says it is now working with acts to pull everything into a central official channel for each artist.

“Your artist subscriptions and notifications will soon move to Official Artist Channels and you’ll be able to manage Official Artist Channel subscriptions like any other channel subscription,” the email said. “Your current secondary artist channel subscriptions will become inactive.”

YouTube has also posted a blog explaining the changes in more detail. Essentially what this means is that users subscribed to a partner-provided or topic artist channel will be automatically subscribed to the official artist channel. If they want to see the partner-provided or topic artist channels again they will have to track them down via advanced search – but they will lose the subscribe button.

The onus, then, is on artists to do some serious housekeeping and pull all their content into one centralised location. Within YouTube, subscribers are seen as a more important metric of success and engagement than a standard view and this feeds into its algorithms for recommendations and discovery. The net result is that acts who have not tidied their content up here could be tripping over their own feet.

Eamonn Forde

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