Improving Content ID

*Updated on 10/4: In the third paragraph we've clarified that potentially invalid claims are manually reviewed by the content owner.*

In the nearly five years since we launched Content ID, it has helped everyone from large media companies to up-and-coming creators manage their content when it appears on YouTube. More than 3,000 content owners have supplied more than 500,000 hours of reference files to the system. Content ID hasn’t stood still over the last five years. We’ve been rolling out regular updates and we want to highlight three particular efforts that we think improve Content ID for everyone.

A New Appeals Process
Users have always had the ability to dispute Content ID claims on their videos if they believe those claims are invalid. Prior to today, if a content owner rejected that dispute, the user was left with no recourse for certain types of Content ID claims (e.g., monetize claims). Based upon feedback from our community, today we’re introducing an appeals process that gives eligible users a new choice when dealing with a rejected dispute. When the user files an appeal, a content owner has two options: release the claim or file a formal DMCA notification.

Smarter Detection of Unintentional Claims
Content owners have uploaded more than ten million reference files to the Content ID system. At that scale, mistakes can and do happen. To address this, we’ve improved the algorithms that identify potentially invalid claims. We stop these claims from automatically affecting user videos and place them in a queue to be manually reviewed by the content owner. This process prevents disputes that arise when content not owned by a partner inadvertently turns up in a reference file.

Smarter claim detection minimizes unintentional mistakes. Of course, we take action in rare cases of intentional misuse, up to and including terminating Content ID access.

Improved Matching Quality
At the heart of Content ID is the matching technology that identifies partners’ content among all the videos on YouTube. Earlier this year we introduced a significant improvement to how the matching happens. We continue to work on ways to make the matching more precise through better algorithms and a more comprehensive reference library.

There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but we believe that these are significant steps forward in our efforts to keep YouTube a vibrant place where the rights of both content owners and users are protected and everyone can control their original content and make money from it - money which can be put towards the production of more great content.

For now, keep on watching, upload a video or two and please, please keep the feedback coming.

Thabet Alfishawi, Rights Management Product Manager, recently watched/danced to "Psy - Gangnam Style"

Sing it! YouTube opens the door for more songwriters, publishers and content creators

On YouTube, musical artists and acts from the established to the experimental can share their talent, find new fans, and sing their hearts out. And we’re committed to making sure their works can reach the widest audience, and that the singers and songwriters will continue to be appropriately compensated for these works that we all love so much.

Today we’re happy to share that we’ve reached publishing deals with BMG Rights Management, Christian Copyright Solutions, ABKCO Music, Inc., Songs Music Publishing, Words & Music, Copyright Administration, Music Services, Reservoir Media Management, and Songs of Virtual - which means more of the great music you all love on YouTube, and more opportunities for artists to make money. These publishers represent works from artists like Adele, Cee Lo Green, Foo Fighters, The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, and many others.

Our Content ID system allows music publishers to identify the works of songwriters whether the compositions appear in an original sound recording or in a cover version, using information provided to us by the publishers. This means that more songwriters will be able to share in more of the revenue that the YouTube community’s creativity yields. Content ID is used today by 3,000+ partners including every major US music publisher, record label, network broadcaster, and movie studio.

These new deals, along with the licenses from the many publishers who have opted in to last year’s deal with the NMPA / Harry Fox Agency, will allow us to monetize nearly all of the user generated videos with music on YouTube. Why is this important? When these publishers allow YouTube to run ads alongside user generated videos that incorporate their compositions, then the publishers, the songwriters they represent, and the record labels and artists using their compositions, all make money - so they can reinvest in their careers and keep making great music, and the music industry can thrive.

Elizabeth Moody, head of strategic partner development, YouTube Music, recently watched "Of Monsters and Men, Little Talks, Live from Music Hall of Williamsburg, 4/5/12."

Opportunity for music publishers and songwriters - January 16 deadline

YouTube has become a thriving music ecosystem of emerging and established artists, where original music and creative covers can reach an audience of millions. We want to continue to recognize songwriters for their artistic contribution to this community. To this end, last year YouTube announced a new opportunity for thousands of music publishers - and the millions of songwriters they represent - to make money from the use of their music in YouTube videos uploaded by fans.  This was a result of an agreement with two leading U.S. representatives of music publishers: the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and its subsidiary the Harry Fox Agency (HFA).  

Through this agreement, music publishers (both HFA and non-HFA members) and songwriters have the opportunity to license the musical compositions they represent for use by the YouTube community. Our Content ID system, with input from our partners, allows us to identify these works among the hundreds of millions of videos on YouTube, whether the compositions appear in an original sound recording, or in a cover version uploaded by a fan. When a publisher allows YouTube to run ads alongside videos that incorporate its compositions, the publisher, and its songwriters, will be able to share in the revenue that the YouTube community’s creativity yields.

Music publishers should review and sign-up for this opportunity by January 16, 2011. Information can be found at, and music publishers can opt-in through this website using the claim and control numbers provided in the materials sent last summer.  Additional information is available by calling: 1 (888) 430-7225.

By opting-in this week, music publishers will be creating a new and future revenue partnership, empowering both their fans’ creativity and their own musical endeavors. Join us.

David King, Group Product Manager, recently watched “Grinding the Crack.”

Easier copyright management on YouTube

From Justin Bieber to The Gregory Brothers, YouTube is a platform for anyone with a passion for performing to showcase their musical talents and get noticed across the web. Smart copyright management is an important part of this online video service—it helps songwriters and performers to be appropriately compensated for their works, while also allowing for those works to be used in new ways.

YouTube has had a longstanding commitment to solving the really tough challenges around online copyright—how to manage content rights in a quickly evolving technology world. We’ve already invested tens of millions of dollars in content management technology such as Content ID and, with over 3,000 major media companies using it, we’ve come a long way in just a few years. But we want to keep pushing things forward.

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve acquired RightsFlow, a New York-based company that helps songwriters, recording artists, record labels, distributors and online music services manage music rights. As new ways of consuming music have emerged, RightsFlow has been at the forefront of solving the complex issues of licensing and royalty payment management. We couldn’t think of a better team to bring on board to further YouTube’s support of the creative community.

By combining RightsFlow’s expertise and technology with YouTube’s platform, we hope to more rapidly and efficiently license music on YouTube, meaning more music for you all to enjoy, and more money for the talented people producing the music. From music videos to live-streamed concerts, YouTube has become a launch-pad for both aspiring musicians and more established independent artists—which is why we have and will continue to invest in tools that make it easier for copyright owners to manage their content online.

David King, Product Manager, recently watched "Danny Macaskill - Industrial Revolutions.”