youtube launches new licensing program for music

The world’s largest video-sharing platform, YouTube, just launched a new program called Creator Music that attempts to solve the licensing issues that both the company and its content creators have experienced for years when using copyrighted musical pieces for their videos.

The new program is already available for creators within the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) while non-YPP and international creators may soon be eligible to participate as well.

The new licensing scheme allows creators to pick among a vast number of songs the company has made available that can either be purchased by the creator to be used in a video or licensed under a shared-revenue arrangement.

In the latter case, the conditions of the licensing deal will be detailed explicitly on the music catalog so the creator understands how much money he will be making for using that particular song.

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This is a Win for Content Creators as Music No Longer Affects Monetization

In the past, content creators were forced to give up the possibility of monetizing their videos if they used music that was under copyright. With this new resources, life will be much easier for video editors as they will be able to select songs from YouTube’s large catalog and even earn money if they partner with an artist who is willing to share the revenues earned.

If the creator opts to purchase the song, it can only be used in a single long-form video. Meanwhile, YouTube Shorts have their own library of available musical pieces that can be used specifically for that format. Live streams are not supported by this program yet.

In addition, YouTube will maintain a library of free songs that can be easily found by using a filter within the platform’s Audio Library.

First announced in October last year, it took YouTube quite a while to ultimately launch this new program, possibly as discussions with artists and labels extended for longer than the company initially expected.

The company owned by Alphabet (GOOG) has been progressively made its way into the music industry, first with the launch of YouTube Music – a music streaming service that was also initially available for US residents only but that can now be accessed by users worldwide.

This service competes directly with platforms such as Spotify and Deezer and offers access to an extensive library of songs. There is a free version of the service but also a premium version that costs $99.99 per year in most countries.

YouTube Could Become a Serious Competitor to TikTok with Monetizable Shorts

YouTube has been working to revamp its content formats amid the significant competition that the platform is facing from new social media companies like TikTok, whose short video format has become the norm and the preferred method to share content by users lately.

In September 2020, YouTube launched its “Shorts”. Since then, the company has been working to attract creators to prioritize this format. Starting this month, these videos have become monetizable.

Initially, the company set up a special fund to compensate the most successful Shorts within its platform. However, the scheme has now changed and creators can now earn money from the ads displayed during their Shorts or

To be eligible to participate in the Shorts monetization program, creators must have over 1,000 subscribers and more than 10 million Shorts views in the past 90 days. Those who are enrolled will receive 45% of the ad revenues generated by their content.

How will ad revenues be calculated? The scheme is a bit complex but YouTube made its best effort to explain how much money creators could make from its Shorts depending on the country in which they are in, whether they use licensed music or not, and the number of views their videos get in relation to the total within that geographical area during a given period.

Experts in the social media space have warned that this monetization program may effectively make YouTube a serious competitor to TikTok as the latter platform’s monetization program only reaches a small percentage of the large number of creators that use their platform.

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