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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.