With billions of videos on YouTube, there is an overwhelming number of copyrights and rights holders to keep track of. YouTube’s Content ID system handles this by helping content owners identify, control, and even monetize 3rd-party uses of their content on the platform.

How it works

When you upload content to YouTube for Content ID matching, assets are created to represent your copyrights.  These assets contain information about your music, including:

  • Reference files: the sound recordings themselves

  • Metadata: ISRC, artist name, song title, genre, etc.

  • Ownership info: who owns exclusive rights and in what territories

  • Match policy: action applied to user-generated content (UGC)

When a 3rd party uploads a video containing your content, a claim is made on the video and our match policy is applied to the segment in question. To maximize your revenue, we set this to “Monetize Everywhere” meaning that ads are run on all videos containing your content, wherever we are administering your rights.

Content ID Eligibility

In order to upload music for content ID matching, you must have exclusive rights to all parts of your sound recording, including the beat and any samples.

Please note that even if a beat is obtained for free or purchased from a producer or production house, it does not necessarily mean you have the exclusive rights to it. 


Occasionally, multiple parties will claim ownership of the same asset in the same territories.  When this happens, YouTube’s system does not know who should control the copyright, triggering an ownership conflict. In most cases, this is caused by two distributors trying to handle monetization of an artist’s track. It’s important to note that monetization is negatively affected for assets in conflict so you'll want to resolve any conflicts as soon as possible. 

Should a conflict arise with one of your tracks, we will reach out to you for clarification and work with any conflicting parties to reach a resolution. 

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