Top Five Emerging Music Channels on YouTube

/ Dec 22, 2013


Music is incredibly big on YouTube. We’ve been banging these drums for quite some time now (just look here and here, to begin).

Nothing exemplifies that more, though, than how YouTube has disrupted one aspect of television and the music industry. “YouTube is the new MTV,” says Alex Jacobs, VP and group director, social content, at DigitasLBi. “From more established artists taking to YouTube and VEVO for additional scale, to emerging artist who are looking to kick start a following, musicians are finding unrivaled audiences on the platform.”

Jacobs’ comments echo what Lindsey Stirling told us a few months ago, during an interview for a profile, when she simply stated that people don’t “create music videos for MTV anymore, they create them for YouTube.” If you look at the top channels on YouTube; if you look at the top rising channels on YouTube; hell, even if you look at how YouTube itself took care to create a separate list for music channels for its year-end “Reward” charts; you’ll get an idea of how important of a category music is on the world’s biggest video site.

That’s an important thing to know if you’re an ad agency or brand. “As part of the holy trinity of lifestyle advertising (alongside sports and entertainment), music poses huge potential for brands to reach their target audiences in innovative, engaging ways,” says Jacobs.

And often, that potential comes in the form of emerging talent on the video site — a creator is demonstrating great engagement and resonance with his or her audience, but hasn’t reached the superstardom levels of a Stirling, DeStorm, or any of the VEVO artists. “More than running pre-roll against music content, collaboration with emerging artists who are willing to try new things can help brands become woven in, not stitched on, to music culture,” adds Jacobs.

So who are some of these emerging musicians that you definitely need to know? Don’t fret though, if you haven’t figured it out by now, VideoInk has your back. Thanks to data from Outrigger Media’s OpenSlate platform and its Emerging Talent Tracker tool, in partnership with the good folks at DigitasLBi, we bring you the emerging music channels on YouTube*.

5. BreakofReality

  • SlateScore: 406
  • Subs: 19,704
  • Monthly Views: 282,960

This group is something else. A cello rock band consisting of three cellists and one percussionist, this group is already selling out venues across America, and is already receiving recognition from the likes of Time Out New York. The band’s influences are diverse with everything from classical music to heavy metal showing up in their oeuvre. And the influences aren’t apparent just via the music the band chooses to cover — which include terrific renditions of Radiohead’s “I Will,” Coheed and Cambria’s “Welcome Home,” and the epic “Game of Thrones” theme song — you will also notice them in the original music Reality of Band has put out over the years.

4. DiaFrampton

  • SlateScore: 420
  • Subs: 14,501
  • Monthly Views: 33,450

You may recognize Dia Frampton from NBC’s “The Voice” — as a contest on the first season of the music competition series, Frampton made it all the way to the final round. A talented singer-songwriter, this was when Frampton’s music career really began to take off, as evidenced by the success of “Inventing Shadows,” an original song she performed on the season finale of “The Voice,” which later debuted at no. 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Like many other musicians (both independent and mainstream), Frampton has used her YouTube channel to push out her original and cover music. Sometimes it’s in the form of a well-produced music video, other times Frampton is just sitting in front of a camera, playing her guitar. One thing, to Frampton’s audience, it doesn’t matter — they’re eating it all up.

Currently, Frampton is working on her second studio album, and you can bet her growing YouTube presence will play a major role in its rollout.

3. JammyJoh

  • SlateScore: 508
  • Subs: 40,566
  • Monthly Views: 457,260

Joe Jeremiah is one funky dude, especially with the keyboard. Jeremiah is most well-known on YouTube for his music series “A-Bit of 8-Bit,” in which he does covers of popular music — songs and theme songs — in the style of 8-bit video games. It’s something to behold, and it combines Jeremiah’s biggest influences and passions — music, piano/keyboard, movies, games, and YouTube. Launched in May 2013, the series and Jeremiah’s channels are rising in YouTube. Which shouldn’t be all that surprising. Who on YouTube doesn’t geek out on movies, TV shows, video games?

2. JamieMcDell

  • SlateScore: 513
  • Subs: 42,616
  • Monthly Views: 98,370

Jamie McDell is a singer-songwriter from New Zealand. Like many artists trying to make it big today, McDell began her career on YouTube, posting original and cover music. It worked, as she eventually signed a deal with EMI Music New Zealand, and released her debut album in late 2012.

Though that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to maker her work available to her fans on YouTube. On McDell’s channel, you can find different types of music content, from well-produced music videos, to more intimate, acoustic versions of songs, to nifty mashups of popular music today. You can also find a web series hosts for Coup de Main Magazine in which she interviews other musicians.

1. pellekofficial

  • SlateScore: 569
  • Subs: 89,893
  • Monthly Views: 1,056,120

PelleK describes itself as a Norwegian melodic/power-metal band. That might not be your cup of tea, but it’s clear it is for a growing number of people on YouTube — the band’s channel scores 8.2/10 in terms of engagement and 8.7/10 in terms of influence.

The band is named after its lead singer, Frederk “PelleK” Asly, who has recorded vocals for numerous European bands through the years. This is his solo project, and as it embarks on its first tour, it’s clear PelleK has an audience that will be eager to see him and his band live.

So how did PelleK build this audience, and how is it on track to continue rising on YouTube? Sometimes the science is very simple: You look at PelleK’s YouTube channel, and you see all of the things that work for musicians on the world’s biggest video site. Covers of popular music? Yes. Music that teenagers, gamers, and geeks would want to listen to? You bet. The fact that it’s also metal? Well, that’s just an icing on the cake.

* All data as of December 18, 2013.


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