YouTube Creators Can Now Monetize Videos with Licensed Music

YouTube Creators Can Now Monetize Videos with Licensed Music


Photo Credit: YouTube

YouTube will soon allow creators to monetize long-form videos that feature licensed music.

Yesterday’s Made on YouTube event revealed a new program called ‘Creator Music.’ This gives creators a huge catalog of popular music for use in their videos without worrying about getting demonetized. Creators are given a few options when using licensed music.

  • License the music and keep 55% of the revenue
  • Share revenue with license holders

YouTube says if creators opt to share their revenue with artists, their 55% split will be prorated based on the number of licensed tracks in the video. According to YouTube spokesperson Susan Cadrecha, the split for one track is 27.5%, and two brings it down to 18.3%. Videos are also subject to other deductions like performance rights fees.

YouTube is hoping this arrangement will give creators more leeway when it comes to using licensed music on the platform. Most serious creators opt to focus on royalty-free music for their channels to avoid getting demonetized. The new YouTube Music Creator program is in beta in the United States and may expand to other countries next year.

“Creators have told us–time and time again–that finding the right song isn’t the hard part. It’s actually figuring out how to license it,” shares Amjad Hanif, VP of Creator Products at YouTube.

YouTube has struck deals with at least 50 labels, publishers, and distributors so far. None of those deals appear to include the major three labels (UMG, WMG, Sony), though. Aside from this new program for creators to begin using licensed music on YouTube, the platform is hoping to make it easier for creators to make money on YouTube Shorts, too.

“Music can power that emotional connection between artists, creators, and all of their fans – and we want to strengthen this by offering creators more choices to work with, while at the same time helping artists meet the fans where they already are–right here on YouTube,” adds Hanif.


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