YouTube Introduces Plan to Unify Artists’ Disparate Channels

YouTube debuted plans to streamline its service by consolidating artists’ channels. In doing so, it will combine separate channels for live albums, music videos, live performances, single songs and complete albums to a single site. Among YouTube’s many music partners, the new plan will especially impact Vevo channels where Official Artist Channels, marked with a musical note, will be the first thing a user sees in search. Channels can still be accessed with YouTube’s advanced channel filter in search.

The Hollywood Reporter states that, “if an artist does not have an Official Artist Channel and only a Vevo channel, the Vevo channel will still appear in search” and that subscribers to such “unofficial” channels will be sent “notifications solely from the Official Artist Channels when new content is uploaded.” YouTube’s move occurs after the “three major record labels renewed their licensing agreements … and ahead of the reported launch of a new subscription music streaming service.”


YouTube has also “become a registration agency for the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) system, meaning it will now start requesting and issuing ISNI codes to and from creators who publish content on the platform.” The move is seen as a way to “better serve artists,” because “the ISNI system allows musicians and songwriters to be more effectively identified for proper attribution and royalty payments.”

“By adopting ISNI, artists, songwriters and other creators will be unambiguously identified, enabling better visibility and tracking on YouTube,” said YouTube technical program manager FX Nuttall. ISNI International Agency executive director Tim Devenport said his group is “delighted to partner with YouTube on such an ambitious effort.”

Engadget reports that the consolidation of artists’ multiple channels will ease confusion and clutter. “In theory, you just have to search for an artist by their name to find everything they’ve posted to the site.” But, it adds, what’s not clear is “whether or not this will eliminate one of the bigger annoyances for music fans on YouTube: having to switch to a Vevo-branded channel to watch music videos.”

The YouTube blog post on its new policy can be found here.