Yesterday (16th March), YouTube launched what they've coined YouTube for Artists - a set of tools and advice that aims to help musicians of any kind to earn money from their own work and essentially build a career out of making music, presumably without any minor or major labels seeing a cut of any well-deserved cash that might be winging its way towards artists.

The dedicated YouTube for Artists site literally starts with the very basics: everything from optimising your videos in terms of their titles and wording, to something as simple responding to comments is covered, which is the most basic level of Social Media Management 101, and onto slightly more complex stuff like checking (and presumably analysing) stats and knowing how to work with YouTube's algorithm.

They've also launched a Content ID system, which will enable you to earn money from your songs that have been used in fan-made videos, which we suppose includes remixes, dance videos. But you'll need to be a partner before you sign up to that.

Being a partner basically lets you earn money from YouTube – the "making a career" part of YouTube for Artists. It's not just the Content ID system that brings in extra pennies, nor is it the old system of earning revenue from ads, it's also a new "cards" system, which allows you to overlay card-shaped boxes over your videos. These can contain tour announcements, let fans know when new merchandise has gone on sale, or whatever you might desire. This side of things will also allow you to "Enable Fan Funding" (à la Bandcamp's subscription service, in a way), a self-explanatory offering which can be placed directly onto your videos.

All in all, whilst purporting to give power to musicians and enable a truly independent side to building a career in music – which, to some extent, is true – YouTube is simultaneously securing a potentially exponential increase in the reach they can boast to advertisers. Each new channel launched is a new outlet for ads, each video an impression they can count towards the views they need to deliver for whichever client's campaign happens to be running. Making themselves more popular by highlighting the added tools and insights they've added for aspiring artists could be seen to hide a dodgy, ingenuous side to music that is all too comfortable with corporate sponsorship, and corporate middlemen madly desiring of video views in the millions to stick on the reports for clients in the hope of repeat business.

Judge for yourself: YouTube for Artists.