YouTube is synonymous with online videos.
And because this massive market domination translates to YouTube being a monopoly, we want to properly prepare you, so your personal brand can stand out from the rest.
With YouTube being the largest video-sharing platform in the world, it’s time to have a solid understanding of the differences between a brand account and a personal account.
Despite its numerous (valid) criticisms, YouTube remains a viable income source for interested parties. But you must be wondering—HOW can you earn money on the platform? Keep reading to learn how and choose which account is right for you.
Earning on YouTube
It’s as simple as opening a new account or a new channel on YouTube and making videos on the platform. Your income depends on the number of views your video receives.
The channel you open is entirely yours to customize with innovative features such as channel art to make your homepage look more lucrative and simple playlists to guide interested viewers across your channel.
Once you start gaining traction, your immediate focus should be gaining subscribers. These are viewers who tune in to your channel daily and are your most valuable assets. Currently, T-series, with over 170 million viewers, is a brand channel with the most subscribers. PewDiePie, with 109 million subscribers, is a personal account with the most subscribers. But more on them later.
The quality of your content is what usually earns subscribers, but there are many other ways to garner attention. This is usually done by using a clever marketing strategy such as hiring marketers to spread the word or using creative SEO in your video description.
Now that you have a basic idea of how people earn through YouTube, you have a very important decision to make—do you open a personal YouTube account and operate as a regular channel or start a brand channel run by a channel manager?
What’s the difference between a YouTube brand account vs. a regular account?
So, what makes the distinction? How is a personal account any different from a brand channel?
TLDR for those of you who don’t want to know the nitty-gritty details: A brand channel is not a personal YouTube channel. It is tied to a company and not a specific person. A regular YouTube account is a personal account. A single individual owns it, and its image is directly tied to that person. The owner is usually the channel manager. These personal channels normally do not have teams of marketers concocting a new expert marketing strategy every week or SEO experts creating the perfect video descriptions.
This is the main difference. But details are vital to a more complete understanding so you can customize your channel to get the maximum number of subscribers.
Ready to enter the YouTube market well-equipped, with top-tier skills?. The first step is understanding exactly how to open your new channel.
The most important component by far is the channel itself. A brand channel and a personal YouTube account look vastly different at first glance. That’s because the channel art is tailored to highlight distinct factors.
A personal account advertises its owner/content, whereas the brand channel will focus solely on the brand. This is a classic example of an opposing marketing strategy. Here are two ideal examples of the homepages of each type of channel:
PewDiePie, the most popular regular YouTube account
T-series, the most subscribed brand channel
The distinctions are as clear as day when we take a look at the channels. PewDiePie, being a regular YouTube channel, is advertising its owner, Felix Kjellberg. The channel logo and wallpaper are both fanart of Felix. The channel is his property.
In the case of T-series, a brand account, the channel logo is the brand logo, and the wallpaper is promoting music released by the brand. No single individual can claim ownership of this channel. T-series and its employees run it.
The content of the channels varies greatly, too (more to come on that topic).
So, now that we’ve seen how much the channels vary in terms of channel art and marketing strategy, let’s take a deeper dive into another huge variant—the Google account.
In case you didn’t know, Google owns YouTube. Fun fact: YouTube is the second most visited website after Google.com.
Google quite literally owns the internet right now, with Facebook being the only real competition. However, how are the Google accounts different in this case?
We’ve already established that a personal YouTube account is owned and managed by one individual. This means there is just one Google account assigned to that channel.
A brand channel, as we’ve mentioned before, is run by at least one separate channel manager. These managers need access to the channel, and so, their Google accounts are also linked to that channel. This means more than one person has access to that channel at any given moment.
Now, let’s take a look at how a YouTube brand account operates, why it needs channel managers, and how they all use one account along with the other features.
YouTube brand account
To understand how a brand channel operates, we need to know who may need such a channel:
This is a no-brainer. A brand account was tailor-made for conglomerates. Firstly, the channel isn’t owned by an individual; even if a personal account opened the brand channel, there is no public association between the Google account used to open the brand channel and the brand channel itself. This feature is more useful for entrepreneurs.
Secondly, multiple people cannot share a personal YouTube account unless they share the Google account itself. This makes collaboration between the various marketers on their team tedious. A brand channel allows multiple users to edit the account as channel managers, along with certain restrictions placed by the primary account.
Lastly, a brand account is strongly focused on selling the service of the company running that account. Because of YouTube’s popularity, this is an effective marketing strategy.
Entrepreneurs can benefit greatly from opening a brand channel. Collaboration isn’t a priority for small businesses as paying channel managers, and marketers can be expensive. As such, this will only be helpful if you decide to open a business with multiple people.
The fact that your Google account and brand channel have no direct correlation means that your name and personal email address are protected.
If you already have a personal YouTube channel, this process is still quite easy. Simply add another channel as you can run multiple channels from one Google account. You can also use a different name for each channel to avoid any confusion.
3. Private People
Finally, using a brand account is also totally normal if you are a very private person in real life and don’t want your YouTube career to make you recognizable. You can use your personal Gmail account and retain your privacy.
So now that we know who can use a brand account, let’s break down the process of setting it up:
Step 1: Create a new channel. Open a new account or add a channel to your existing account.
Step 2: Enter the necessary details and verify your account.
Step 3: Authorize other users with the primary account and monitor and edit their permissions to your preferences.
Voila! You have yourself a state-of-the-art brand account ready for business. It’s that simple.
Billions of hours of content are watched on YouTube DAILY. Yes. Every single day. So, yeah, competition is heavy. It does help that a brand account and a personal account are not in direct competition.
The content produced by regular YouTube channels is usually purely for entertainment. This includes vlogs, cooking, gaming, and comedy skits. These channels earn their revenue from ads and sponsorships.
On the other end of the spectrum, a brand account is dedicated to selling its services either with a soft sell disguised as entertainment or a straight-up hard sell in the form of infomercials. These channels usually do not focus on the people making the video.
This is why many YouTubers have a brand channel and a separate personal YouTube channel. A successful example of this practice is the self-proclaimed “internetainers” Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal who have a brand account, Good Mythical Morning, sporting 16.9 million subscribers. They also run a personal vlog and comedy channel simply called Rhett & Link with 4.98 million subscribers.
Other YouTubers include Matthias and his brand channel, Dope or Nope, and Smosh and their vlog channel, SmoshPit. SmoshPit was formerly the most subscribed channel on YouTube.
Keep in mind that some YouTubers have their main channel and an additional channel such as NigaHiga and HigaTV, but neither channel is associated with a brand, so they are both regular channels.
A personal YouTube channel usually does not emphasize appealing to a specific age group, gender, or race. The intended audience is entirely up to the user and their style of content. There is a lot of freedom in this scenario.
A brand channel does not have the same luxury. They employ marketers who apply various marketing strategies to appeal to the demographic that buys products from the business—aka, the target demographic. This means they customize the channel to meet those needs, fitting SEO in descriptions, appropriate channel art and design, intriguing thumbnails and videos, and subsequent playlists focused heavily on pleasing their aimed audience.
Here are some interesting usage statistics for the site:
- The average adult viewer spends 41.9 minutes on YouTube daily.
- 40.9% of videos are watched on mobile devices
- People spent a total of 100 billion hours watching gaming content in the year 2020.
These are just some of the stats that diligent researchers spend their time calculating. These are some of the reasons a brand channel may customize its content.
Whether you decide to create a brand account or a standard one, the career path of a YouTuber has its fair share of challenges and rewards. If you find the right niche, you might be someone who enjoys the freedom and creativity of this nontraditional job.
With proper guidance from experts who not only analyze the market but also understand the modern dilemmas of content creation, monetizing your YouTube account is more doable than ever.
For more helpful career resources, visit The Vector Impact.