Why Youtube Flags Audio

YouTube Content ID Claims and Stock Music: Why It Happens and What To Do

Update April 29, 2016: YouTube has changed the way it handles monetization during Content ID claims. Monetized videos will now continue to earn revenue during the claim process, which YouTube will hold until the claim is resolved. YouTube will payout the held revenue to either the video creator or the claimant based on the resolution.

For more information on this update, read the full post on the Creator Blog.


As a video producer, the soundtrack you choose sets the mood and elevates the emotional elements of your piece, working seamlessly with your footage to create a truly unique experience for your audience. Securing the right music to use legally can be especially pricey and difficult, depending on what song you want to use and from whom you’re purchasing the rights. That’s why at AudioBlocks, our goal is to provide an extensive and broad library of stock music, sound effects, and loops at a great value to accommodate both personal and professional budgets. With your subscription, you secure a license to use the royalty-free audio in our library for both commercial and noncommercial purposes.

This goal has led AudioBlocks to become a popular supplier of content for YouTube producers—who can use any of our audio and sound effects on YouTube without having to worry about royalties, copyright issues, or lost monetization.

Unfortunately, despite our 100% royalty-free guarantee, a small segment of our customers might still experience the occasional Content ID claim from YouTube. If you’ve ever received a “Matched Third Party Content” message in your Video Manager, you know how devastating they can be. Either your previously ad-free video will be plagued by advertisements, or the monetization of your ad revenue will stop filtering to your account.

Fortunately, we have good news: we are here to protect you from these claims. Our painless claim removal process is quick and efficient. But before we explain the solution, let’s take a look at what causes the problem in the first place.

What is Content ID?

All songs that aren’t in the public domain have a specific copyright holder: the composer, a record label, or a songwriting organization such as ASCAP. When musicians and composers sell their work to different companies, like AudioBlocks, they retain the copyright while the company gains the licensing rights. In our case, when a subscription is sold to a video producer, they obtain the licensing rights as well. If everything goes smoothly, you should never receive the dreaded “Matched Third Party Content” message.

However, often composers will also submit their music to a third party who specializes in obtaining royalties. YouTube will then utilize an algorithm called Content ID to find videos that use content from these third parties. When YouTube gets a Content ID match, that third party will then monetize the video to ensure that the royalties go to the copyright holder on record.

This Content ID algorithm presents several problems. While copyright holders do not exclusively hold the licensing rights once they sell their music to AudioBlocks, they still hold the copyrights. YouTube’s Content ID algorithm picks up on copyright violations, but does not take into account any licensing rights. This is important, because while genuine copyright holders deserve to be paid for their work, AudioBlocks makes these payments directly to the copyright in advance of this situation.

The real issue has to do with YouTube’s algorithm being a rather blunt instrument, not a surgical tool; it merely identifies commonly used files, not the actual licenses behind them. Because of this, many songwriters had their own original material mistakenly identified by Content ID, and the same goes for public domain content. We’ve even spoken with a customer who received a Content ID flag for music made available by YouTube itself.

This is a widespread issue through the audio community, but it’s a necessary sacrifice to ensure that legitimate copyright holders are paid for their work, one way or the other.

What can AudioBlocks do to help?

Since our music is 100% royalty-free, there is no need for YouTube to collect royalties for the copyright holder; we’ve already taken care of that—which gives us a distinct advantage in quickly removing any claims that might falsely arise.

When a claim appears on your video, YouTube provides two options. The first is to do nothing and let the ads on your videos collect revenue that goes toward paying royalties. For users who use a Katy Perry song in a video without permission, this option is ideal because the video maker doesn’t have the rights; the audio is not royalty-free, so the imposed ad revenue will collect any necessary royalties

The other option is to dispute the claim. YouTube has a standard process for disputing claims that can normally take weeks to resolve. The majority of claims are not resolved in favor of the creator, but rather the third party who made the claim in the first place. YouTube makes it rather difficult to provide adequate proof that you have the rights to use the music without paying royalties, and the proof you can offer—your personalized Royalty-Free License Agreement—is rarely sufficient. Worse still, if you lose your dispute, you get a copyright strike, which puts your channel at risk. Channels in bad standing lose privileges such as the right to monetize any videos for yourself, and if you get enough copyright strikes, you can even lose the ability to upload videos at all.

As an AudioBlocks customer, you have the advantage of a third option that is both quick and effective. Rather than leaving the advertisements on your video or disputing the claim, you can simply send an email to support@audioblocks.com with the following information:

  • A link to the YouTube video with the claim (Making sure it isn’t set to “Private”)
  • A link to the AudioBlocks track used in your video
  • The name of the third-party claimant

As soon as our support team receives your email, we will contact the claimant directly to have the claim removed. Since we’re able to verify that you are a current or former AudioBlocks customer, we can vouch for your use of our music in your video, and the third party can then remove your claim. This takes anywhere from 24-72 hours—weeks faster than YouTube’s publicly available options—and best of all, claims removed in this way will not affect your channel’s good standing. You won’t risk getting copyright strikes, and once your video is whitelisted, you won’t have any more claims on that video.

The important thing to remember is that AudioBlocks content is by artists, for artists. We purchase and curate this music for you direct from musicians and composers and eliminate the need for royalties from AudioBlocks customers.

That’s why getting your claims removed is so important to us. Our goal is not just to provide you with high-quality royalty-free music, but to make sure your experience using our music is the best it can be.

25 comments

  • Jorge

    Excellent advice! I have run into this issue with stock music before, and was lucky to have the second method work quickly. However, the risk of getting a Copyright strike is out there, so I can certainly appreciate your going beyond for your customers.

  • DrawWithRydi

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank you guys so much for the amazing job you do with the website, apart from providing great music you also solve our issues with ContentID which is something not every website does. I’ve had some content ID matches in the past, some were resolved on my own by just saying I was an Audioblocks customer but others had to be resolved by Audioblocks itself. Needless to say, everything went smoothly all of the times and with the channel whitelisting option I haven’t had to deal with any other content ID matches for Audioblocks tracks.

    Thank you for being so dedicated and caring, it speaks loads about you! I’m definitely recommending you to everyone I know!

    Keep the good job up!

  • Gary Dell

    Of course, there is another option – don’t host videos via YouTube. Any serious television or video broadcast or corporate sector professional should be best-practice advising end-user clients that their videos should be hosted directly on their website. Hosting on YouTube and merely linking to the video on the client’s website is pure laziness, not to mention the “untidiness” of having a website that is on-brand but then “polluted” by the undue prominence of the YouTube video player.

    YouTube was originally designed for the “back bedroom” amateur video-maker, and should remain thus.

  • Chris Friesen

    I have had the occasional claim on my videos and will say so far I’ve been very impressed with the response from you guys. The claim is usually gone within an hour. Amazing! The only scenario I haven’t come across yet, but may someday, is when I create content for another channel. Do I just go about it in the same way if they get a claim? Send you their YouTube link even though it’s not my channel?

    • Brian

      Hey Chris, the YouTube account would have to be yours or an AudioBlocks account holder who has downloaded the audio track in question. Hope that helps!

  • Matthew Saville

    Is it okay if I simply fill out the automated YouTube form for “yes I do have the rights to this video” and say “this song was licensed through Audioblocks.com”? It seems to have worked for me twice now, but I don’t know if there are still some “points on my record” or something. All I know is that they leave me alone after that. (I prefer to have zero ads on my videos, as the likelihood of ever getting a million views is slim and my viewers show greater support than any youtube revenue ever could)

  • Joe

    On our YouTube channel, we have had about 3 to 5 copyright claims for music from AudioBlocks, and have successfully resolved each of them through YouTube’s resolution process in a matter of 1-2 days each. So in our experience this has been a fast, easy, and accurate process which has resulted in no unsatisfactory results or strikes against our channel. However, it’s great to know you are will to help out as well! =)

  • Ken Sheetz

    As a major content creator with over 30 million views of my work on YouTube I am thrilled about this option! Thanks so much. I love both Videoblocks and you guys!

    Ken Sheetz
    BuzzBroz.com
    YouTube.com/buzzbroz

  • Dominique Feldman

    I just want to say that the money I put towards this subscription is probably the best money I’ve ever spent. Not only is the selection of music huge, diverse and awesome quality, but the claim removal process is so easy and efficient, and I’ve never had to worry about these claims. For some reason, this issue on YouTube has happened 4 times in the last half year, but every time it has been resolved. I thank you all for that! Definitely renewing my subscription when it comes time to do so.

  • Ivan

    Sooooo…Can I use a this music more than once in my youtube videos or do I have to buy a license everytime upload a video??

    • Brian Platt

      Hey Ivan, good question! You just need one license per AudioBlocks subscription, so you can reuse both the music and the license as many times as you like, even if you cancel!

  • Ciprian

    What if I own multiple YouTube accounts? All of them made under my only Google account.
    Can I use music from audioblocks on all my accounts?

  • Larry

    We are having a similar issues with Facebook. They are taking down videos that contain a music track that we licensed from you. How can we address the Facebook issue with auto-detecting copyrighted music without being required to appeal each and every takedown?

  • Matt

    So I’ve had a few claims recently on YouTube, and not knowing that Audioblocks helps with those, I just disputed the claims and explained that it was a royalty-free song from audioblocks.com. Each time the claim would go away within a day or two, which was fine.

    Just now, I had the same thing happen, but I found the support article and emailed Audio Blocks instead. It was less than an hour and I got an email from Youtube saying the copyright claim was lifted. What fantastic service!

    Thanks to you guys for that and for providing such a great subscription to your music library.

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