Make Money on YouTube with ONErpm

by | Sep 11, 2013 | Music Licensing, Music Promotion

oneRPM_logoThere’s a saying in the startup world by founder Marc Barros of Contour Cameras: “The best product does not always win, the product everyone knows about does.”

I often repeat this when I speak at music business gatherings because I think it’s so analogous to our industry. This is why “My Humps” was a Top 5 song in the U.S. and track three on your latest CD is not. That’s harsh, I know. So, how do you get everyone to know about your music? In short, the answer is, and has always been, distribution. But what does that mean today?

There are plenty of companies that will distribute your music to online platforms for sale or streaming. You can even do this yourself with a little research and motivation. Simply having your music “available” is the old definition of distribution; being on iTunes or Spotify does not necessarily drive sales, increase fans, or lead to licensing. But, being on YouTube can. What’s more, if it’s done right, you can generate revenue, gain fans, and cultivate channel partners all by just “distributing” your music on YouTube.

With that in mind, this month we’re focusing on ONErpm, a leading digital music distributor. What separates them from the pack – and why I think you should know about them – is their growing YouTube Network partnership. I spoke with ONErpm’s CEO, Emmanuel Zunz. We discussed his company’s vision of the music industry landscape, and their newly launched YouTube elevated networks program.

You run a global company; what kind of trends or changes in the music business do you see?

Yes, it really is a different story everywhere. We have been primarily active in Latin America and Brazil. For instance, in Sao Paulo, iTunes is relatively new  (launched in December 2011) and not that big. Social media is the primary driver of music discovery in Brazil, and YouTube is a huge driver of it.

I know ONErpm is listed as a distribution company, but it seems you are more in the service area with widgets, Facebook sales, and now the YouTube Partner program. How do you see your company?

I think we started as distribution, then moved into services with direct-to-fan, and now we are a pushing partnerships, or a combination of all our offerings. We look at this as an opportunity to help artists, no matter where they are in their career. We offer free distribution packages, fair royalties, and low pricing to make it simple. But we also work with bigger artists and labels, so we want to make sure we’re offering value to everyone.

Let’s get into the YouTube Partnership, how long have you been doing it, and how effective for artists has it been?

We started it in January and it is already a big part of our business. Our YouTube Network already has 100 million plus views monthly and is growing rapidly.  Results have been encouraging for those artists using our YouTube Premium Partnership.  On average, the company has been able to more than double the revenue of what our artists earned as a Standard YouTube Partner – which is our free service.

So, you’re proving that YouTube can be a great place to distribute music to fans, and also make money doing it.

Oh yeah. YouTube is by far the biggest and most popular destination for music on the web. Period. Through Content ID, YouTube has given control back to the rightful content owners enabling them to earn significant income. Our goal is to find artists who are serious about their careers and music, and then partner with them to maximize that potential and grow their business.

How do our readers get involved with ONErpm YouTube Partner Program?

To participate in our Standard YouTube partner program, artists simply upload their music at no cost, and we deliver the audio files to YouTube with the correct copyright information. YouTube then scans its site for any videos using that work and then generates a claim for each video so artists can start earning advertising revenue. Artists have a dashboard so that they can see where and how their music is performing. Additionally, ONErpm’s elevated Network of Channels option offers several added benefits: a premium percentage share of advertising revenue, Content ID for videos (which is more lucrative than audio alone), cross-channel promotion to expand views, and a greater selection of ads with higher CPMs that run against the videos. ONErpm keeps only 30% of royalties it collects and directly pays the artist 70%; we think that’s a good pretty good deal.

For more info and to sign up, visit


-Michael St. James is the founder and creative director of St. James Media, specializing in music licensing, publishing, production and artist development.