Republic Network 13th Jan 2022

How to make money with your music: Content ID

Content ID is YouTube's software system that allows creators to track potential copies of their work on the platform and monetise them.

After dealing with royalties and SoundCloud monetisation, the new chapter of “How to make money with your music” has to do with Content ID. If you’re an artist and/or content creator you’ve probably already heard of it. And if you haven’t, don’t worry because in this article you’ll find all the key points you need to know.

What is Content ID? 

It is a unique software system created by YouTube in 2007 that allows creators to track possible copies of their work on the platform. Why? Quite simple. As a rights owner, your creations belong to you, as well as all those derived from them. They are yours, therefore, who has full control over all of them. The decision to block the content, to study its statistics or, even more interestingly, to monetise it, is yours.

How does Content ID work?

In order for Content ID technology to properly identify and manage content on YouTube, it is necessary for the artist to submit a database. This audio and/or visual file must contain all of the work to which the person holds ownership rights. Once the software has this information, it creates a digital fingerprint. And every time a user uploads a video and the content matches the fingerprint, YouTube notifies the user.

If you are wondering about the reach of Content ID, you should know that it is very high. This constantly developing technology detects matches for audio and video, but also for melodies, even if they have been covered.

Upon notification, the decision on how to proceed then rests with the copyright holder. There are three actions:

Block the video and prevent it from being viewed.

Track the statistics of the audience watching the video.

Make money from the video – How? By embedding advertisements. The rights holder can even share this revenue with the user who uploaded the video.

Important: each country has its own rules for this type of action. Therefore, it cmay be that a video is monetised in one country or region and blocked or monitored in another.

Who can use Content ID? 

Content ID can only be used by rights owners who meet certain requirements. A very specific and demanding list that includes the legitimacy of the exclusive rights or whether the channel requires the use of this tool. It is therefore an arduous task that requires advanced knowledge. As an artist you can choose to do it yourself but the reality is that you are unlikely to succeed. This is why there are platforms that offer Content ID as a service for their artists.

Of course, YouTube monitors the entire process, including challenges that may arise, to ensure that guidelines are followed. In fact, owners who repeatedly claim incorrectly may lose their Content ID access and end being a  partner.

Why should I use Content ID?

This flood of information may have made you reconsider whether you really need Content ID. After all, you can still make individual claims about videos that infringe your property rights without using this technology. But the reality is that if you are doing so, you are losing money. It is impossible for you to discover every single video that is using your work without remuneration. The only and smartest option is to make use of Content ID through a specialised platform.

How does Republic Network use Content ID? 

Republic Network creates assets in YouTube’s rights management system. Each of these assets represent an intellectual property. There are four types of assets:

Music video assets: these represent audio-visual music content and are often embedded with sound recording assets.

Sound recording assets: represent a sound recording. They include metadata such as ISRC, artist, album and a composite reference to an audio master recording.

Composition percentage assets: represent the copyright holder’s ownership of a musical composition that includes a sound recording.

Still image assets: Cover songs are videos that YouTube automatically generates from a song or album in order to make a version of the songs available on YouTube Music.

The tool recognises the relationship between these assets. A music video asset can incorporate a sound recording asset. A sound recording asset may incorporate one or more composition percentage assets.

When one of our assets claims ownership of a video uploaded by a user, we apply that asset’s policy to the video. If a sound recording asset and its embedded composition percentage asset have different policies, we apply the more restrictive of the two.

Republic Network

Republic Network is a technology company with offices in Estonia, Spain, the Dominican Republic and Colombia, endowed with a highly qualified professional team in different sectors of the music and entertainment industry.