Music Management

How Artists Can Make Money on YouTube with Content ID

As of January 2022, YouTube ranks as the second most popular social channel worldwide, housing nearly 2.6 billion monthly active users. Those users watch roughly one BILLION hours of video daily, with 80% of those videos having music present, making YouTube one of the largest platforms for music discovery. (Source: Statistica) Needless to say, this kind of music prevalence gives artists opportunities for exposure and money thanks to YouTube’s Content ID system and Official Artist Channel

What is YouTube Content ID?

Content ID is YouTube’s digital fingerprinting system that music creators can use to seamlessly identify, manage, and protect their music on Youtube. Content ID was developed and launched by YouTube’s parent company Google in 2007 to protect content owners from copyright infringements. This system is fully automated to identify when your music is used in a video uploaded by another user. For example, if a vlogger uses your song in the background of their video, Content ID will automatically detect the use of your piece, flag it, alert you, then work to monetize it in your favor. 


How Does Content ID Identify Music on YouTube?

With Content ID, YouTube listens to your song and creates a “digital fingerprint.” That digital fingerprint is stored within Content ID’s massive database and is then used to track and identify your music if it appears in any user-generated content. If a user uploads a video containing your song, that video is flagged, and the original content owner is alerted. In most cases, the user may opt-in to receive monetary compensation for the use of their song. As a result, YouTube then places ads on that video so you can earn money. 

What Happens When Content ID Identifies a Video With Copyrighted Music?

When Content ID finds a video with your music in it, there are three things you can do: 

  1. You can block the video that matches your content. 
  2. You can monetize the video.
  3. You can track viewer data to get detailed analytics, such as countries where your content is popular.

How Do Musicians Make Money Using Content ID?

Musicians, most notably independent artists, have claimed hundreds of thousands of videos through Content ID. Most of these artists choose to monetize their claimed videos, where pay is collected through video ads. A portion of the ad earnings from the claimed videos redirects to the artists who have enabled monetization in the YouTube system.  

As a result, billions of dollars have been paid out to content owners since 2007. 

What Kind of Music Can You Monetize on YouTube?

You can monetize any song in which you control the master recording and publishing rights. If your songs are 100% original, then you’re all set. 

Songs that are not eligible for Content ID monetizing include:

  • Non-exclusive content (third-party content like samples that are not exclusively licensed)
  • Creative Commons content or content with free licenses
  • Public domain footage, speeches, recordings, etc. 
  • Karaoke or cover songs 
  • Songs that contain any audio library samples, sound effects, or production loops (GarageBand’s preset loops, for example) 
  • Songs that another distributor is already monetizing 

YouTube Monetization per Country 

Advertisers can only target ads to countries where YouTube has launched a monetized site. Here is a complete list of countries where YouTube monetization is available. 

How Long Does it Take For Content ID to Scan and Claim? 

When you add Content ID to your track(s), it will prioritize scanning the most popular YouTube videos before moving on to videos with less engagement. 

Depending on the popularity of your song(s), Content ID can take anywhere from two weeks to 6 months to claim ALL of the correct content. 

Monetizing with Content ID 

If you choose to monetize the video that is using your music, there are two ways you can achieve that: 

  1. You can join YouTube’s Partner Program to capitalize on monetization. The eligibility criteria for YouTube’s Partner Program are: 
  • Having at least 1,000 subscribers 


  • 4,000 hours of video watch time on your channel within the last 12 months 


2. You can join Venice Music to unlock and add YouTube Content ID to ALL your tracks. 100% free with zero fees taken. 

Unlock YouTube Content ID today through Venice.
No up-charges, no additional fees. 

Unlock YouTube Content ID

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