Uploading a video to YouTube is like bracing for impact. You never know when their Content ID system is going to hit you with a copyright strike.
But YouTube's newly unveiled Creator Music program aims to be the solution the company and its creators have longed for.
The program is currently in beta testing, but it will add a large catalog of licensable music for creators to use in their videos. Users will be able to search, browse and purchase these tracks and agree to terms that aren't bogged down by legal jargon.
The way YouTube currently functions is through a very robust Content ID system. Creators can utilize YouTube's stock music, but the library is limited and its song don't always fit their content. Video creators have tried to use music outside of YouTube's stock library, only to be get hit with a copyright strike.
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Like baseball, it's three strikes for your channel and you're out. But copyright owners could also claim all of the revenue for that video. Instead of the ad revenue going to the video uploader, it went to the music copyright's owners. This system left content creators up in arms and confused, as most do not know how complex copyright laws function.
But YouTube's new initiative aims to alleviate these pains. Instead of risking a copyright strike, video creators will be able to opt into a revenue sharing option with the music copyright owners. This is a far more mutually beneficial solution for both the video's uploader and the copyright owner of its embedded music.
This groundbreaking step forward for YouTube was announced at the company's "Made on YouTube" event. With the ever-growing threat of short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram Reels, YouTube had to come up with a solution that detangles the complex nature of licensing so creators can have peace of mind when using the platform.
"Creators have told us, time and time again, that finding the right song isn't the hard part," Amjad Hanif, YouTube's VP of Creator Products, said. "It's actually figuring out how to license it."
"Music can power that emotional connection between artists, creators and all of their fans," Hanif added, "and we want to strengthen this by offering creators more choices to work with, while at the same time helping artists meet the fans where they already are: right here on YouTube."