How to Upload Music Videos to YouTube

band members performing in a field

Jeremy Woodhouse/Holly Wilmeth/Blend Images/Getty Images

For an up-and-coming music act, or a band trying to build a following, there are few better avenues of free promotion than YouTube. Uploading a music video to YouTube, which has more than one billion users, gives artists a huge audience as well as insights about that audience. 

How to Upload a Video to YouTube

First, you'll need a YouTube account. If you have a Gmail address or Google account, you've already got a YouTube account; you just have to sign in using your Google log-in and password. One of the benefits of the integration of Google and YouTube is the potential boost from Google's search results, where YouTube videos rank highly. 

Once you're signed in to your YouTube account, all you need to do to upload your video is click the Upload button on the top right of the page, add a description, and you're all set. It's easy in theory. But there are some rules you should know before adding content to YouTube. 

The Rules for Uploading Videos

Make sure you only upload videos which you own, or which you hold the publishing rights for. The last thing you need is to have your brand new YouTube channel suspended for copyright violations before it attracts any visitors.

Ensure your video follows both YouTube's Terms of Service and its Community Guidelines. Videos containing violent, pornographic, threatening or hateful content are against the Community Guidelines, and YouTube will shut you down if you break these rules. You can use the embeddable YouTube player to put videos on your own website, but don't try to alter the player itself. That's also against YouTube's Terms of Service. 

Depending on which mobile device you have, you can upload videos to YouTube using either its mobile app or YouTube's mobile site, similar to the process for uploading from a desktop or laptop computer. YouTube and Google add new features all the time, so be an active participant and know how any rule changes or new features could hurt or help your band's visibility. 

Getting Helpful Tips From YouTube

YouTube has a lot of helpful tips, tricks, and advice in its Help section, and can guide you on technical issues like the sound quality and video resolution. If you're ready to take the next step into live streaming videos on YouTube, you can learn how to do that as well. YouTube also has an active user community, where you may find answers to problems or concerns. 

Promoting a YouTube Video on Social Media

Now that your video is on YouTube, use your other social media channels to promote it. It's easy to share to Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels right from your YouTube page. 

Include links back to your band's website on your YourTube profile along with information on where and how to buy your music. Commenting on other people's videos is a good way to draw some traffic back to your own YouTube page. It's also good karma and can lead to cross-promotion from other bands and musicians.