If you’ve listened to music on YouTube within the past several months you almost certainly have come across Art Tracks, which are recognizable by the album artwork and text displaying the artist, track title, and album title. As a content creator, you may be wondering where these videos come from and why they’re on your channel.
So, what are Art Tracks? To put it simply, Art Tracks are YouTube’s way of pulling audio into their video platform that may not have an official video.
When tracks are delivered to YouTube without an accompanying official video, they appear as Art Tracks. This format allows for better album organization, playlisting, sharing and more, while backfilling any gaps in your catalog. With Art Tracks, YouTube is able to create an album playlist displaying similarly to the way other music subscription services organize their content, making it easier for fans to dive right in and listen to your new album in full on the video site.
On YouTube Music, Art Tracks are automatically created for any song that is distributed to YouTube and are categorized on your YouTube Music profile as “Songs.” If an artist has a music video uploaded to their channel for any given track, this official music video will be given priority within YouTube’s search engine and will be featured more prominently but only Art Tracks are considered “Songs.”
Although Art Tracks will automatically populate artist topic channels on YouTube, there are definitely advantages to uploading original content to your YouTube channel. Channel owners cannot manually update the descriptions or annotations of automatically generated Art Tracks. YouTube features, such as linking out to retail outlets,videos, and playlists, are only available on the user’s uploaded original content. Therefore, official videos are an important part of your marketing campaign while Art Tracks are needed to populate your album in full.
YouTube has always served as a popular destination for music consumption and as the platform evolves, artist channels will become the central hubs for all artist media and audience development. With Art Tracks, the listening experience is only getting better.