11 YouTube channels you can use to educate yourself about the Music Industry! 

After countless years of jaded artists speaking out against their record contracts, we are starting to see the conversation around whether artists should ‘sign to a record label or stay independent’, become more of a frequently discussed topic. 

Since the start of last year, it feels as if every couple of months we have a well known musician speaking out against the exploitative nature of their record contract. We have read headlines of pop stars (Taylor Swift), breakout rappers (Megan Thee Stallion) and hip hop legends (Kanye West),  all speaking against how the record/production deals they signed in the earlier days of their careers are exploitative and far from artist friendly. The general consensus is that these deals take advantage of artists in their development stages, binding them to bad (unfair) terms, which they will grow to despise later on in their career as they achieve more commercial success.

We have had a few artists such as Chance The Rapper, Russ and the late Nipsey Hussle, bring this conversation to the forefront as they promoted the benefits of an artist remaining independent for as long as possible. The artists mentioned above championed the narrative that upcoming artists should focus on building their own internal team, leverage and audience to a substantial level before deciding to partner with a major corporation. We have also seen this similar journey here in the UK, with acts like AJ Tracey, Stormzy, Dave, IAMDDB and Jorja Smith, reaching mainstream success without signing a major record deal. 

I think we can all agree that all artists should focus on building their own career as much as they can in the early stages without being dependent on a major record label, and in today’s era they should try to find the information and resources to ensure that when they do decide to go into business within the music industry, they will have put themselves in position to have as much leverage and negotiation power to attain the best deal possible. 

Below I have included a few music industry based YouTube channels that focus on entertaining and educating people with an interest in the music industry. These are channels I have personally consumed over the years and feel like they could bring value to aspiring musicians and music managers, who would like to learn more about this industry. I have provided a recommended video for each YouTube channel you could consume today instead of a netflix series episode or a podcast. Feel free to DM me, if you have any other recommendations that I should consider for next time. 

(1) Phase VI

Phase hasn’t posted in a while but there is still a large archive of content up on his YouTube channel that I think will be valuable to anybody trying to get a better understanding of the music business. His style is very informative and provides a good source to build up the foundation of your music knowledge. 

Focus: Touches on a variety of Music Business conversations from a US Hip Hop/R&B perspective, with in-depth knowledge and insight. 

Audience: Music Managers, Aspiring Entertainments Lawyers, Music Producers and Artists. 

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(2) Wendy Day  

Wendy regularly posts bite-size discussion videos and interviews of her first hand experience and insights regarding all sides of the music business, including the networking and relationship building side of things. I think her content will be valuable to anybody trying to get a better understanding of the music business, whether as a professional career path or as a musician.

Focus: Touches on a variety of Music Business conversations from a US Hip Hop/Trap perspective, which she has gained from her first hand experience breaking and developing major artists. 

Audience:  Music Managers, Aspiring Entertainments Lawyers & Digital Marketers, Music Producers and Artists. 

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(3) Damien Keyes

Damien has consistent uploads that really focus around branding and marketing yourself as an artist in this streaming and social media era. He also dedicates a few videos to current affairs and breaking news from the music business that may affect artists. 

Focus: Touches on a variety of digital marketing, branding and release strategies around artists/bands building an audience and developing a fanbase from an Indie/Rock perspective. 

Audience: Music Managers, Aspiring Digital Marketers and Artists. 

Recommended Video: 

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(4) Buristmo

Buristmo, which is a music marketing company, are leading by example as they use their social media platforms to educate artists about how to market, promote and release music. They dedicate their YouTube channel to giving artists insights and breakdown of many releases, digital marketing and social media strategies around building an audience, using campaigns/case studies they have worked directly on or through podcasts they arrange with experienced individuals that work in the music industry. 

Focus: Touches on a variety of digital marketing, social media and release strategies around artists building an audience and gaining exposure with each release from an Alternative/Indie Pop perspective.

Audience: Music Managers, Aspiring Digital Marketers and Artists. 

Recommended Video: 

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(5) Brandman Network

Brandman has a lot of great videos in his earlier catalogue that may be very helpful for artists that are trying to figure out their branding and how to go about marketing themselves. He used upcoming and superstar artists within the industry as a case study to breakdown their branding/image and gave an in depth analysis of how it applied to their marketing and success. More of Brandman’s videos have recently started to focus on the marketing and promotional side of releasing music which he does with interviews and guides.  

Focus: Touches on a variety of digital marketing and branding conversations from an Hip Hop/R&B perspective, around an artists image, style and content that would  allow them to build a strong audience and  fanbase.

Audience:  Music Managers, Aspiring Digital Marketers and Artists. 

Recommended Video: 

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(6) United Masters

Outside of being a distribution company in itself, United Masters YouTube channel is dedicated to arranging interviews and conversations with individuals that are vital to the process of breaking an artist and releasing their music. 

Focus: Touches on a variety of subjects across all sides of the music business from interviews with Lawyers, Marketing Staff and Music Producers that work closely within Black US music.  

Audience:  Music Managers, Aspiring Entertainments Lawyers & Digital Marketers , Music Producers and Artists. 

Recommended Video: 

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(7) Pay Us No Mind  

Pay Us No Mind delivers a lot of YouTube content around the distribution of music, focusing a lot of his efforts on the finer details of how artists can release their music onto streaming platforms and the various ways artists can be paid from the streams. He also has regularly scheduled YouTube live were has open discussions about current affairs taking place within the music business. 

Focus: Focuses on the technicalities of distributing music and also the promotional; and financial side. Gives artists a guide and scope of the current streaming platforms and DSP’s within the market.

Audience:  Music Managers and Artists. 

Recommended Video: 

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(8) Helloyassine 

Helloyassine does tend to make videos that are commentary on all current affairs within the music industry as he focuses both on the entertainment and business side of the industry. Most of his videos do tend to provide a lot of critical analyses of pr, marketing and financial moves being made from artists as he goes into in depth breakdowns around headline current affairs.   

Focus: Touches on a variety of marketing and PR conversations from an Hip Hop/R&B perspective, around an artists image, style and content that would  allow them to build a strong audience and  fanbase.

Audience: Music Managers, Aspiring Digital Marketers and Artists. 

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(9) Patrick.CC

Patrick.CC does tend to do a lot more entertainment focus content for the average music fan rather than education content for people aspiring to work in the music industry. However, he does have a variety of video content and uploads that I think will be valuable to artists and managers trying to market and invest in promoting music. 

Focus: Has a few videos around influencer marketing, digital marketing and paid promotions that he does as a case study from the US Trap perspective.  

Audience:  Music Managers, Aspiring Digital Marketers and Artists. 

Recommended Video: 

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(10 & 11) Amarudontv & Producer Grind 

Both Amarudontv & Producer Grind are YouTube channels that mainly focus on interviewing musicians and in some instances behind the scenes people such as music managers, A&R’s, entertainment lawyers and ect. I think even though their content is tailored specifically for the audiences that are fans of these musicians, they are both one of the few platforms that focus heavily on the come up, musical journey and details of working within the music business. I feel this would be valuable to people trying to get a real life gage into culture and experiences within the music industry. 

Focus: Touches on all sides of the music industry from a US and UK perspective, with in-depth conversations and details.

Audience:  Music Managers, Aspiring Entertainments Lawyers & Digital Marketers, Music Producers and Artists. 

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