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How YouTube Content ID Impacts Video Monetization

Is someone else making money from your video marketing on YouTube? Read this to make sure you're getting the revenues from your content creation.

What is the YouTube Content ID System?

YouTube makes publishing video content easy for entrepreneurs and marketers. Entrepreneurs can monetize their original videos through the YouTube Partner Program. However, you can derail your monetization efforts if your video contains music licensed in the YouTube Content ID System.

A few years ago, YouTube launched the Content ID system to help copyright holders, music licensing agents, and record labels keep track of who’s using their music and provide a method for collecting revenue from its use. YouTube provides a database of audio samples and music that copyright holders can claim as their original works. Every video you upload to YouTube is scanned against that database to determine if there is any work already claimed by another party in the Content ID system.

Why Should Content ID Matter to Me?

What does this mean for you?

If YouTube finds a match in the database, it will notify the copyright holder. The copyright holder can decide to exercise their claim by blocking your video from playing in certain countries or collecting any ad revenue associated with your video.

In other words, YouTube can ban your video, or you won’t make any ad revenue from your video.

YouTube Ad Monetization can be lucrative for savvy content creators. If you’re planning on monetizing your expertise through ads, you need a different approach to music licensing for your videos.

Royalty-Free Music Licenses and Content ID

I know what you’re thinking, “I paid a licensed for the music in my video to avoid these Content ID claims!” 

It doesn’t matter if you the whole song, a derivative work, or just pieces resample into new music production. The copyright holder can claim the music in your video.

The next big question is, “What does royalty-free music mean?”

Royalty-free music licenses allow you to sync music to your videos without paying a royalty for each stream, playback, or mechanical production of your video to the artist, publisher, or record label across most media. That’s great news for video marketers and entrepreneurs.

However, since many social networks monetize and share ad revenues from your content, Content ID systems enable the original copyright holders to benefit from that revenue stream.

Think about it, by including the music; you’re not paying a royalty. But you also can’t directly profit from the video either with ad-monetization. YouTube doesn’t split the ad revenue between the video maker and the music licensor. When the copyright holder asserts her claim, she gets all of the monetizations from your video. 

Not all music licenses are the same. Learn more about how music licensing works.

Can a Claim Impact my YouTube Channel?

In general, a Content ID claim will not harm your channel or violate YouTube community guidelines. Your viewers can’t see Content ID claims.

I’ve licensed music from Triple Scoop Music and Envato for my video and media production. Additionally, I write, record, and produce original music for my video marketing. I’ve also sampled published music to make a derivative work. So, what happened?

In my experience, I’ve had two Content ID Claims made on my YouTube Videos. One of my first videos included sampled music from Masta Ase Incorporated’s Tha Ride. That was an obvious Content ID claim.

Because of the Masta Ase claim, I started using royalty-free music licenses. That led to the second, Content ID claim for our photography marketing video that included a royalty-free license from Envato.

Initially, YouTube didn’t make a Content ID claim. It came years later when the original copyright holder decided to participate in YouTube’s Content ID. And boom! I had another Content ID claim.

Therein lies the rub. You can still have your properly licensed music monetized by a third party from your videos.

In an extreme case, Manny Ortiz, a YouTube Content Creator and photographer, lost his entire channel of hundreds of thousands of followers because of copyright claims. At the time, the channel loss was a huge setback. Yet, Manny took the opportunity to rebrand himself. He now has over 640K followers and over 58 million views of his videos without copyright claims.

What Should I Do If My Video Has a Content ID claim?

Don’t panic! Here’s what you can do if your videos have a Content ID Claim:

  1. Dispute It: If you believe that you have the rights to the music and can prove it, you can dispute the Content ID claim with YouTube. However, the copyright holder gets the final say.
  2. Mute It: If the copyright holder asserts their rights, you can always mute the audio in your video. In practice, this is a terrible idea. It will remove any spoken audio in your video.
  3. Replace It: YouTube has a library of royalty-free music that you can use for your videos that won’t have Content ID claims. You’ll have to find works that sync with your content and branding. However, you can’t upload new music to a video already on YouTube. 
  4. Republish It: This is a tricky decision. If your audience has already liked, shared, or commented on your video, you’ll lose all of that if you replace the entire video with a new audio/music track. You can unpublish the video to keep your metrics. Then publish your new video for monetization. 

Envato provides printed licenses for content creators if they have to prove their rights to the music. The music license is helpful to have on hand for disputes. However, it doesn’t matter if the copyright holders want to monetize your YouTube videos featuring their music.

Learn more about the YouTube Content ID system.

How Can We Help with Your Video Marketing?

Rights Management: We want you to have every available means to monetize your brand, expertise, and content marketing. When we produce your videos, we validate our music licenses against YouTube’s Content ID systems so that you can monetize your videos as your channel grows.

Exclusive Music Production: We also have a library of studio master recordings produced by MADEGRANDBYCAM‘s affiliate brands to sync your video, live streams, metaverse, and media commissions. 

Video Marketing Strategy: While YouTube’s Content ID is the most well-known, Meta’s Facebook has a similar system for video content. We can advise you on the best strategy for native video publishing on your primary social networks.

Stratagem Coaching: During your complimentary consultation, ask about music licensing and content monetization. We’d love to help you optimize your brand for long-term revenue growth.

Final Thoughts

You only have to worry about Content ID claims when you’re natively publishing videos to social media with the intent of advertising revenue monetization. The alternative is to post your content to video marketing and lead generation platforms without ad monetization. It’s always better to focus on your customer experience and generating sales revenue.

While YouTube is the second-ranked search engine after Google, it isn’t the best platform for content marketing. Plus, you may want to publish videos that are exclusive content upgrades for your sales prospects without the distraction of ads. This strategy keeps your clients in your marketing and sales funnel instead of chasing squirrels on YouTube or Facebook.

You can avoid Content ID claims altogether by publishing videos strategically to social networks and your owned media channels. We can help you build and develop a best practice for your audience-first content marketing.


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