Do auto-generated (“Topic”) YouTube channels qualify for the Artist-URL / Youtube relationship?

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Do auto-generated (“Topic”) YouTube channels qualify for the Artist-URL / Youtube relationship?


I’ve seen some artists promote the YouTube “topic” channel over their own channel. E.g., Gjaldulei’s “band media” page links to as “YouTube / Google Music”.

As long as these topics have a unique URL, I don’t see why we shouldn’t link them. Maybe the current relationship needs to be reworded though.


Relevant ticket:

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It’s certainly not a channel, and I have been removing them when I see them. If we want them to be allowed, then we should either rename the relationship, or have a separate relationship for them. They’re 99% of the time autogenerated crap including, AFAICT, unofficial stuff we generally would avoid linking to, so I’m not a fan tbh.


If it isn’t the official channel of the artist, I don’t see need to link to it.

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If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… What makes you say it is “not a channel”? AFAICT, YouTube treats it (on the consumer facing side at least) exactly like a channel.

Regarding the unofficial stuff included in these channels, plays of those videos will still result in royalties to the given artists/rights holders and the artists/rights holders are (being made) aware of those videos being there. I agree that we shouldn’t link those videos directly, but these “topic” channels seem like a perfectly legit target to link to. I do agree with renaming the relationship (or making a new one) though, as stated in my previous comment.

More artists and managers are adding those. The latter doesn’t seem to have any other channel.

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I guess they cannot even manage those channels.

By mistake (I hadn’t consulted the history before), I’ve just participated in a battle on the add/remove of this type of channel. The subject doesn’t seem to be moving forward on a consensus?

These channels are significantly different from the topic pages that Facebook generates. For recording artists, they get licensed content that is organised and credited. If an artist has releases on Deezer, Spotify, or Apple Music, chances are you will find exactly the same releases in the “Albums & Singles” section of the topic channel. These are official releases, and artists/labels have control over what shows up here.

A topic channel can nicely complement an artist’s curated channel. Compare the curated channel and the “topic” channel of Mango Groove (a South African band). Notice that the curated channel has music videos and live appearances, while the topic has complete albums.

In the topic channel, each official release is presented as a playlist. Occasionally you can find an album that has some gaps or other videos mixed in, but that’s uncommon. You can always distinguish the official tracks because:

  • The video image shows the album cover (formerly a small album cover plus the title, artist, and songwriters)
  • The video title is only the track title (with no artist credit)
  • The track is credited to [artist name] - Topic
  • The video description follows a template format like this:

Provided to YouTube by [music licencing body]

[track title] · [track artist] · [songwriters]

[release title]

℗ [year] [label or distributor]

Released on: [YYYY-MM-DD]

Auto-generated by YouTube.

This is rather significant because, unlike most services, YouTube doesn’t require an account to stream the material. In fact, the streams are actually higher quality than Spotify’s ad-supported streams. For such reasons, certain types of material (such as audiobooks) may be withheld from YouTube. Those exceptions notwithstanding, basic YouTube has been an official outlet for licenced streaming audio for years—not just for YouTube Music subscribers.


What Google say:

Types of channels an artist can have

An artist can have more than one type of channel on YouTube:

  • A channel the artist manages themselves.
  • A partner-provided channel, which is managed by a YouTube Music distribution partner (like a record label).
  • A topic channel, which YouTube auto-generates. These channels are titled “Artist Name - Topic” and say “auto-generated by YouTube” in the channel’s About section. Learn about auto-generated topic channels for artists below.
  • An Official Artist Channel Music note , a collection of an artist’s music and videos from across all their different YouTube channels. You can find an artist’s Official Artist Channel (OAC) by searching for the artist on YouTube. You can also find their OAC by watching an artist’s official music video. Learn about Official Artist Channels.

If you’re already subscribed to an artist’s topic channel or partner-provided channel, you’ll automatically be subscribed to their Official Artist Channel when it’s created. Notifications will then be sent from the artist’s Official Artist Channel. Learn about notifications from artists below.

Once subscribed to an artist’s Official Artist Channel, your subscriptions to their topic channel and partner-provided channel will be inactive. This means they’ll no longer be in your subscriptions list. You can still find an artist’s topic channel or partner-provided channel in Search, but these channels will no longer have a subscribe button.

As always, you can manage your subscriptions for any channel you subscribe to, including Official Artist Channels.



topics are too often “messed up”
i remove them when i see them

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Honestly, I don’t see any reason to remove them :-/ Or we should adopt the same policy for unofficial artist page from Spotify, Deezer etc. many are also self-generated or share multiples artist under the same ID:

As YouTube Music Team is working to merge all secondary channel to the official one (when it exists), I think the addition of these topic channel is useful for the future (MB will already have the link to the official channel).

YouTube Music Team

I’ve been deleting those too.
Using them at the album level, not artist level.

To me, it becomes too easy (not that iTunes or Spotify allows me to copy and paste anymore) to simply see an iTunes page and say “hey, there is a release missing from the artist, let’s add it”.
And then you end up with a release on an artist entry that should be on a different artist.

I know that most of the internet is made by 3rd parties (and as time goes on, a 4th party known as AI), so there is no way to know everything everywhere is correct. But I think limiting a few of the majors (apple, google, spotify) to official information should be a good thing.

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