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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. Just to let everyone know DhruvaAliman did send me a copy of his accounting and it’s as he said. It was totally unnecessary as far as I was concerned. Call me naive but I tend to believe that long time visitors to MLR are not blowing smoke!

      • In my defense I doubted Mr Dhruva’s claim because I too have a popular youtube channel with 2,370,839 views
        These are monetized solely by turning on the monetize button for each video in my account, no third party agency like rumblefish taking a cut of my earnings.
        I have earned exactly $989.94 on these 2,370,839 views.

        Mr Druhva, seems to have hit on a magic formula somehow.
        Good going Dhruva.

        • Just for the sake of accuracy I earned $989.94 on 1,317,850 views (not 2,370,839) as I didn’t start monetization until 2011.

          About the same amount of views as Dhruva’s youtube channel and earning just a fraction of Dhruva’s payout even without sharing the revenue with rumblefish.

          Therein lied my skepticism of Dhruva’s statement but I now stand corrected.

          • Sorry, my bad again.
            From my earnings it looks like an average of $1000 for every 1,000,000 views from running ads on my videos.
            That would put Dhruva’s potential earnings at around $120,000 for 120,000,000 views. right?

            • Yes, that’s what I was thinking. Dhruva’s views are around 150,000,000 across all channels and even at $1/1000 views that should be about $150k.

              But I think that as he is sharing the revenue with the content holders of the visuals, it is less…

              I’m surprised Mark is getting under $1/1000 views. I’ve heard people getting up to $7/1000 views but I don’t know how.

            • It fluctuates, that’s the high end. But you don’t give RF a cut, so you’ll make more per view. I don’t mind giving RF a cut ’cause they can get my music on way more vids than I can do myself.

  2. Content ID is a scam. It is not licensing your music, I will NEVER do it again with libraries. I post my own videos of my own songs on my youtube channel and monetize them myself.

  3. “But then I left Rumblefish due to complaints from a music library. Today, I think the choice is still questionable. Because that specific music library has not yet even made me $350…

    Today I have 225 unique tracks, around 750 including variants. How much would I get from YouTube Content ID program today? One can only speculate…”

    The answer is pretty simple. Just create a separate catalog of cues for content ID. Use a pseudonym, if you have to.

    • Would they have be tracks that are not in any other library as content ID probably works on fingerprinting technology and the title track/composer is not what they are picking up or identifying.

      • @Musicmatters. It would have to be tracks that aren’t in any other library.

        This is NOT something that I have done. But, if you want to do contentID . IT mud be exclusive content.

  4. I made over $36,000 last year from content ID. Rumblefish rocks, especially if you like to create your own videos and not wait around for someone to license your songs. LICENSE YOUR OWN SONGS and put them on YT.

    • That is really impressive, congratulations !!! This stuff is really confusing, almost every library will discourage Adrev/Content ID but then the results speak for themselves. Do you have music in other libraries, or a separate content ID library. How many tracks do you have on YT ? Thanks Dhruva

      • Right, if you actually believe that Dhruva made $36,000 via rumblefish.
        Solely on his own videos that he posted to youtube?

        CrazeMusic sounds like he has a great music catalog, I checked out his website and I can’t believe he is not making $350 a month let alone in 6 months via licensing his music. To think that he is considering pulling all of his music and going with contentID is a shame because he has actual talent.

        It is really disappointing that people are just saying whatever nonsense they want on this forum without backing it up.
        Dhruva, like in The Wolf of Wall Street, if you show me your pay stub for $36,000 I will quit my job of licensing high quality music right now and join rumblefish.

        Crazemusic, if you are not a member of musicloops.com please send me a submission.

        • On another note , for the second time in as many months a non- exclusive library has entered my tracks with them into the Youtube content id program.


          Its a fairly simple criteria to adhere to and written in very plain English.

          There are to conclusions I can make at this point

          1. This library and others are too stupid and illiterate to actually read the TOS


          2. They actually do this, knowing they are in breach and assume we ( the composers ) are too stupid to cop on to them.

          Sorry for the rant but this is getting very tiresome.

            • Do I really have to take a pic of my pay stub and post it somewhere or is the fact that I have over 120 million views across 3 of my channels evidence enough? Look guys, I make compilations but I also slap my song on anything I can shoot with my iPhone. You have edit more videos than actually make songs but it can be done. You have to think of a theme that gets you subscribers, I get about 100 a day.

              You know the show Portlandia- “Put a bird on it” well for youtube vids – Put a song on it 🙂

              My 3 top earning channels

              • So…

                “Dhruva, like in The Wolf of Wall Street, if you show me your pay stub for $36,000 I will quit my job of licensing high quality music right now and join rumblefish.”

                What do you reckon?

                • A) I think you should still make the highest quality music you can
                  B) If you’re gonna do that, you better like making videos

                  I think Art is gonna come visit me in Santa Monica. He can confirm it for you 🙂

              • “Do I really have to take a pic of my pay stub and post it somewhere or is the fact that I have over 120 million views across 3 of my channels evidence enough?”

                Not to be a jerk, but yes, take a pic of your pay stub!!!

                I would like to see if Mr. Lewis holds true to his statement and quits his job of licensing high quality music right now and joins rumblefish.

                What’s the worst that can happen from showing your pay stub? At least send it to Mr. Lewis to see what his response is. I am waiting…..

                • Yeesh, the hard copy is with my accountant, but I can take screen shots of my quarterly earnings from the rumblefish back end and paypal notices if you guys are gonna be that much of a pain in the arse about…I’ll email them to Art. You’ll believe him, right? How can you not. When you look at his face, he’s got trustworthy written all over it.

                  • Hah, such a trusting face!

                    I’m going to set up a meeting with Dhruva. Not so much to vouch for his trustworthiness but I’d like to see what he’s doing first hand. It’s a fast changing world and who knows. I’m all for keeping an open mind!

              • If you are making money well done, I think the point is being lost here a bit, Dhruva makes money by generating his own content and then putting his music on it. I don’t see 120 million views there but there is no doubt that his channels get millions of views.
                What he is doing is very different from a composer putting their music on Rumblefish and hoping for the best. He admits himself he edits more videos than songs. Not so much about content id but how to be a successful Youtuber

                I admire his attitude for playing both sides of the coin and obviously being successful, however this is not what an “everyday” Rumblefish composer does.

                As a matter of interest most of your videos are not your video content, but edits of other peoples work. How does that work ? Surely they must have a cut in this too.

                • They do woodsdenis. YT sets aside money for both copyright holders of music and visuals. Content ID matches both audio and visuals. If you make compilations using visuals that copyright holders want you to use because you are making them money, then you don’t have to ask permission to use them. Just like people don’t have to ask permission to use my songs.

                  • “If you make compilations using visuals that copyright holders want you to use because you are making them money, then you don’t have to ask permission to use them. ”

                    Dhruva, I’m curious about the legal/permission mechanics of this, of making compilation videos using existing YT content. How does that work? How do you know ahead of time which users want people to use their content? Do you need to be a YT partner or sign a contract with a Multi Channel Network? Been doing some research on this today but I can’t quite nail it down.

                    I’ve thought about maiking compilation vids in the past but have never understood how to legally access the content.

                    Good job, by the way. You’ve been tinking outside the proverbial box.

        • Mark,

          Thank you for kind words, and sure, I’ll send you a submission later this month, thanks for invite!

          Yes, today, I’m doing more than $350 per month. 🙂 .. and yeah… from Rumblefish YouTubeContent ID, that payout was $350 over 6 months… but still… with only 50 tracks in the Rumblefish catalog, the buildup from $0.99 -> $50 -> $350 was not so bad. So I look forward to Art Munson’s visit to Dhruva. 🙂

          Best Regards

  5. I just wanted to quote Bjorn Lynne and then share my own view “Unless your music “goes viral” in some crazy popular video, the money you end up with after what started as $1 – $1.25 per 1,000 views, after the money passes through one or two other companies, is hardly anything left for you.”

    I had around 50 tracks in the Rumblefish catalog. First 6 months, I made 99 cents from the YouTube Content ID program.
    Second half, I made around $50. After 18 months, the next pay check was on $350. I’m not a famous artist, and I only had 50 tracks in their catalog.
    This $350 is much more money than I made from any other music library with only 50 tracks in it by that time.
    But then I left Rumblefish due to complaints from a music library. Today, I think the choice is still questionable. Because that specific music library has not yet even made me $350…

    Today I have 225 unique tracks, around 750 including variants. How much would I get from YouTube Content ID program today? One can only speculate…

    • @Craze. There is a vast difference between selling cues for $1.99 and $199.
      It’s easy to sell cues at $1.99. That’s like giving them away. It’s a lot harder at $199.
      So, don’t blame the library.

      Maybe the price point for your music is somewhere in between.
      Listen to Mark.

      • Michael,

        I’m not trying to blame anyone here. However, this specific library I’m talking about sell full music collection CDs including around 20 tracks for about $50… so this specific library is actually on the same price levels as AudioJungle… or lower… but again… the only one to blame would be myself to sign with them. 🙂 … and today, I wouldn’t…
        … anyway… my point is that some people claim that YouTube Content ID system will give very little back unless you are big and famous. I say that, judging from my own experience, it MAY not be true… it seemed to build up pretty good over time even with pretty few tracks in their catalog… (I consider 50 tracks to be few…)

        But I’m not saying that I will join. Just that the decision to stay outside is not super easy. 🙂

        Best Regards

  6. Synth, I don’t think that you’re here to proselytize (great word btw, at the center of several supreme court cases). What I do think is that you see the world based upon your experience, which is derived from the music that you write.

    You are a passionate guy, but you tend to make broad sweeping, highly generalized statements, like “there are no more high end libraries” and there’s “no upfront money.” That may be true for certain kinds of music, but not for all. It may well be that you write a kind of music for which the market is already saturated. Thus, yes, the market is very hard.

    I’ve never done business with Sarah Gavigan, but she has some interesting things to say about licensing and making it in this business.

    Here’s her website


    and something she just posted in her newsletter.


    I really believe that in order to succeed a writer must hone their skills, be very disciplined and take an extremely long view of the industry. If you focus the the pennies at the bottom of the fountain, you will eventually believe that’s all there is, because it’s the only thing that you see.

  7. Relax guys. I am not here to proselytize! By all means, continue to do whatever practices bring YOU the most success. I am no guru and I never purported to be one.

    Besides, I see no reason for you guys to get bent out of shape since you do not participate in the Youtube Content ID program. If I was rude, sorry. I just think the program sounds wonderful and I am preparing all new music to participate in the program. Good luck!

  8. By the way, Rumblefish relaunched “Friendly Music” with a new technology where you can “mash” a song to a video and share it.
    That gets even more folks interested in using content ID songs. Paul at Rumblefish walked me through it, it’s pretty cool.


    Like I said I can make my own youtube vids in just a few hours and make more money with them than my cable T.V. placements, and I don’t have to wait for someone to license my songs.


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