In 2020, 8 out of 10 18 to 49-year-olds will watch YouTube in an average month. According to Google, by 2025 half of viewers under the age of 32 will no longer subscribe to a pay TV service. Now more than ever, YouTube is the go-to destination for video content for both millennials and those older. One burgeoning corner of the YouTube space is in music channels. Some channels create interesting music reviews, whilst others delve into the technical details of music-making. Some even focus on playing classic songs from a single genre of music.
Below are some of the absolute best music channels on YouTube that you need to be following in 2020.
The Needle Drop
Anthony Fantano has been the self-confessed internet’s biggest music nerd for years now. Despite his lengthy innings, the music reviewer shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Anthony always reviews recent music releases in pop, hip-hop, experimental, techno and other genres. He rates every album out of 10, but it’s his in-depth opinions across his reviews that keep his subscribers coming back. In 2020 this has been no different, and if you don’t yet follow Fantano on YouTube its as good a time as any to start doing so.
Amoeba is one of the most famous independent music stores in America. But for those who can’t make it there any time soon, you’re in luck! Amoeba runs a YouTube channel where they invite music celebrities into their store to buy anything they like. They are then interviewed in a “What’s in Your Bag” style, explaining why they chose the music they did. Amoeba’s channel is an excellent way to get new music recommendations from people working in the industry. They have a diverse set of celebrities who they’ve interview also, from Slick Rick to Le Butcherettes. This means there’s likely something for everyone’s tastes on their channel.
Mr Suicide Sheep
If you’re in the mood for electronic music, the MrSuicideSheep channel has something for you. With over 12 million subscribers, it’s one of the most popular YouTube channels for an independent label. And with good reason. In addition to their music videos, they manage a 24/7 stream of chill-out music. The channel has been going for 10 years and yet somehow manages to be the best its ever been. If you’re in the mood to chill out and listen to some hard to find electronic music, we can’t recommend them enough.
Polyphonic produces video essays on music through their YouTube channel. If you’re interested in the video essay format, there are few better music-related channels on YouTube in 2020. Some of their recent output includes in-depth looks at how artists like Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar shaped the 2010s. They also take the time to analyze specific songs like Feel Good Inc and White Rabbit. For anyone who wants to delve just a little deeper into the world of music, Polyphonic’s essays are both engaging and informative. They also update their channel regularly, with new videos usually uploaded every 2nd Thursday.
Oliver’s YouTube channel is dedicated to music, for music lovers. His channel is dedicated to giving reviews and recommendations on new music for those hoping to expand their horizons. A popular Deep Cuts video recently was their piece on “How to find new music”. The channel also looks to recommend artists from specific genres, such as AFROBEAT or MATHCORE. Though they aren’t as regular YouTube producers as some others on this list, Deep Cuts is well worth a follow for when they do post new videos.
Vox isn’t specifically a music channel as they create content in a variety of other mediums. But their music content is so good that they have to be included on this list. They create video-essay style videos similar to Polyphonic, but on more out-there topics. For example, they analyzed how a single chord is used to create ambiance in Christmas songs. They also looked at the origins of the infamous “Parental Advisory” sticker and how it was rooted in heavy metal music. Its a shame they are not solely dedicated to music videos, but when a new Earworm Vox video comes out you know that its a must-watch. Another channel that isn’t just concerned with music essays but does create interesting ones occasionally is Nerdwriter1. For their slightly longer videos, we recommend figuring out how to download YouTube videos on Mac. Then you can watch them at any time, even without the internet.
Resident Advisory is an online music magazine and platform that recently created its own YouTube channel. They are the experts in electronic music with their channel being no exception. They create a “Real Scenes” series which targets specific locations across the world and reports on the music scene there. For a taste of their more analytical videos, you should seek out their video on Burial’s Untrue album. For anyone interested in DJing and electronic music, RA is a vital creator in the medium right now.
Similar to MrSuicideSheep (YouTube music channels love animals), Chilled Cow is a YouTube music station dedicated to discovering and sharing new music. They specialize in sharing chilled out tunes that you can either relax or study to. They have managed their “lo-fi hip hop radio” live stream for years. It’s now one of the most popular live stream YouTube music videos on the platform, and rightfully so. If you need to play music that can help you to concentrate, particularly students revising for exams, this stream is perfect. In 2020, Chilled Cow shows no signs of slowing down and is still the ideal channel for chilled out music on YouTube.
The Are So Many More…
The above are just some of the best music channels on YouTube. There are more music channels on YouTube now than ever before as the platform continues to expand. This includes many others we’ve been unable to fit onto this list like Dead End Hip-hop, Adam Neely and Sideways. The YouTube space continues to change at a rapid rate, so there will likely be even more channels launching later in the year.