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YouTube Content ID Program


Thought I would revive this conversation. One of our readers e-mailed me and mentioned that YouTube no longer pulls videos for copyright infringement if music a client purchased elsewhere, is used on a YouTube video but YouTube has the rights to the same music via a 3rd party deal. In this case our reader has a deal with Rumblefish and states that the video producer will simply get a letter stating that Rumblefish has the rights to the music and that would be the end of it.

Anyone else know about this? Has YouTube changed their position? I was under the impression that YouTube was pulling videos for copyright infringement if the music conflicted with their third party deals.

Here’s a link to the previous thread and it’s worth reading the comments. GoDigital Thread

[Update 01-18-2012]

This was recently posted by Lee from Audiosparx and seems to answer the exclusivity question. Until Rumblefish or YouTube specifically answers some of these questions we will all be a bit in the dark.

Lee said:

YouTube’s stated requirement is that only holders of exclusive content can submit such content to their Content ID program.

By requiring exclusive content, this avoids the scenarios where Rumblefish earns money from music licenses sold by other libraries, and gives an affected client a clear path of who to communicate with if they receive an email notification that their video may have content that is owned or licensed by XYZ (e.g. the company they licensed the music track from).

In other words, YouTube is saying that the Library XYZ must be the ONLY licensing source for a track if they are submitting that track to YouTube’s Content ID program, not that the track is available for license at multiple libraries and Library XYZ happens to be the only library submitting the track to YouTube’s Content ID program.
[Update 08-12-2013]

FYI – The following companies are known to be involved with the YouTube Content ID Program:

AudioSparx “Internet royalties” program
CDBaby “Sync licensing” program
Crucial Music
Fine Tune Music
GoDigital & Social Media Holdings
IODA: Independent Online Distribution Alliance
Kontor New Media
Music Beyond
Music for Productions
The Orchard
The Music Bed

250 thoughts on “YouTube Content ID Program”

  1. Man, there is so much great information here. I am a newbie and this is my first post. I am really confused by this topic of internet monetization. I am in the process of signing with Audiosparx. I have opted out of Rumblefish (through CDbaby) as required. Now there is an option to opt in to Audiosparx’s Internet Royalties program. I am wondering if I’d be better off working on my youtube channel to monetize myself. Or would that still be problematic? I only have 36 Youtube subscribers as of now so it would take some work.

    • Hi Dantrilk,

      The monetization on YouTube Content ID that AudioSparx provides is different than monetizing your own content on YouTube. With our program, the fingerprint of your music tracks get matched to any video uploaded by anybody, and ads start running around their video for your financial benefit. For your own Content ID participation, it would only run ads around your own videos/tracks, not everybody’s videos that include your tracks. So, the potential for earnings for our program is much wider than would happen if you are monetizing only your own content directly.

      • Thanks for the speedy reply! That makes sense, thanks for clearing that up. I am pretty foggy on the publishing administration too. Since I went through CDbaby initially they are considered publishing administrators for these songs I believe. My BMI catalog is a bit of a mess too. I entered my songs as I had in the past at 200% but they entered them also at 100% / 100%. So I assume I should just stick with CDbaby for that? And maybe call CDbaby to clean it up? BMI seems to take forever to get back to me. Or is this something you guys would take care of as administrators?

        • With CD Baby, I’m not certain if they use a 200% pie (like BMI) or a 100% pie (like ASCAP). Either way, it works out the same, it’s just a different means of expressing the royalty shares between the composers and publishers for each track. At AudioSparx we use a 100% pie like ASCAP.

          If CD Baby is handling your publishing administration on an exclusive basis, then AudioSparx would not be able to also be a publishing administrator for your tracks. However, if they are handling it on a non-exclusive basis, then you can also participate in AudioSparx’s publishing administration service on a non-exclusive basis and then when we obtain a commercial broadcast-related placement for one of your tracks, then we will contact the client to get the cue sheet info, and then file the cue sheet, and then follow up with the PROs to make sure the royalties are paid in a timely manner.

          • Does audioxsparx add all tracks into their youtube content id program? I’m asking because I noticed the non exclusive tracks I have on audisparx showed up in the audiosparx external distribution report under the heading youtube content id.

            I have those track in other libraries and thought there may be an issue with audiospark registering them with the youtube content id.

  2. I have to say, until reading this thread I hadn’t really realised what a potential mess youtube content ID is..

    I actually received an email a while ago from someone who licensed my music from a non-exclusive library (I can’t recall which one, possibly Beatpick), only to then be told by youtube that the content was owned by Rumblefish – they were quite annoyed by this as they thought they’d licensed the track for unrestricted use..

    And I have to say, in my ignorance, I didn’t really understand what was going on as I assumed everything I was involved in was non-exclusive.

    Turns out I had opted in for CD Baby’s ‘sync licensing’ option (which is actually just CD Baby uploding your material to Youtube Content ID) under the understanding that it was non-exclusive (which is *kind-of* is, but in a way isn’t.. errr)

    I actually think that in general, a content ID system for web videos is a good idea, but until the gray areas are ironed out, I think I’m gonna take a step back from it.

    I only have two albums of material with non-exclusives at present and I think I might just place them into one library (which also does content ID) so there’s just one licensing source for those tracks.

    I was thinking about moving them over to Audiosparx as exclusive tracks (if they’ll have me) as people here seem to have good things to say about them – I did place a few tracks of my old band with them years & years ago and seem to remember Barbie being super helpful with meta-data etc.

    Are there any other libraries that have a clear opt-in to youtube content ID that I should consider?

    I’ve been thinking of pulling my tracks from some of the lower-paying libraries I’m in anyway and trying to concentrate my efforts with companies that can provide some better opportunities.

  3. To answer Scary_Bodega’s question- I can’t get into all the minutia here but one thing you can do is upload first the visuals you’re interested in. If there’s a copyright match and that video is still playable then that means the copyright owners are allowing use of their footage for a share of the ad rev….
    If there is no copyright match then you better be careful. Then you don’t know what the copyright owner is allowing and it’s best to ask permission or try to negotiate a deal with them.
    There’s other things too but I can’t write a novel here.
    I’ve met with composers on MLR for $50 hour long sessions on this, like I said if you’re interested hit me up.

  4. If anyone in L.A. is interested, I do hour long sessions with musicians here, teaching them all the tricks I’ve learned over 4 years on how to make your vids go viral and how to leverage your assets. Normally, I charge $75 for an hour but for MLR members I’ll do $50. I meet clients at the Coffee Bean (or somewhere) by the promenade in Santa Monica. You can reach me via http://www.dhruvaaliman.com/p/contact.html


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