Posted: Nov 11, 2019
Category: Online Presence
**Guest post by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan of MakingMoneyWithMusic.com. Reprinted with permission.
"YouTube is essential for getting your music discovered and heard. In this third article of our three-part series of making money with YouTube, we'll give you one more way you can make money with YouTube -- generating ad revenue through ContentID.
Our last two articles talked about becoming a YouTube Partner and five ways you could meet YouTube's new requirement of 4000 watch hours and 1000 subscribers join the program. What not every musician knows about or takes advantage of is there's a second way to make ad revenue off of your videos -- even if can't become a YouTube Partner.
The key is to register your entire back catalog of music with YouTube's ContentID service. You don't need to achieve so many watch hours or subscribers. You simply need to register your music with them. In short, ContentID allows you to get a cut of advertisement revenue from anyone using your original music or video content. It also allows you to take content down or just monitor the stats the video is generating.
To get access to these features and start collecting ad revenue your original music and videos are generating, you need to register all the music and video content you own with their ContentID system. This creates a "digital fingerprint" of your work so YouTube know what to look for. Registering your music and video content in this way doesn't post your music or video content to the public; instead it uploads it to YouTube's backend ContentID system. Once it's uploaded there, their ContentID system scans all videos on YouTube to see if any of your music or video content is being used in other videos. If there’s a match, the system gives you three choices: you can require YouTube to take it down, monitor the video and track its statistics, or collect a share of the advertising revenue.
There's a chance, depending on your catalog and how well-known you are that you can sign up with ContentID directly, but YouTube typically restricts who can sign up and use their tool. Because of this, you may need to go through a YouTube ContentID partner such as Audiam, AdRev, Rumblefish, SongTrust, or other publishing administration services such as CDBaby's or TuneCore's Publishing Administration. Most of these partners will take a cut however. Typically they charge a percentage of the ad share revenue generated, so you'll want to research the percentage these middlemen take. And since these services only make money when your content is actually used, they usually don't offer you all the choices YouTube's ContentID provides -- namely the ability to take down a video or not collect revenue and instead just track its stats.
Lastly, keep in mind ContentID is limited only to YouTube videos and is only able to catch exact matches for the music and video content you uploaded. For instance, any covers of your song won't be picked up unless the YouTubers who covered your song used samples from your original recording. This means you'll miss out on the ad share these views are generating for you. For example, in the first article of this series, we linked to a video of a band playing a Hall & Oates cover in their van. ContentID wouldn't be able to catch this version for Hall & Oates. So, to help capture covers of your music like this, some ContentID partners like Audiam and Rumblefish include services where they'll manually track down these additional uses of your music, for a fee. These services also go beyond YouTube, reviewing and monitoring uses on Facebook, Vimeo, Instagram, and more.
Remember that ContentID, and the YouTube Partner program we discussed in the first two articles are just two of the sources of income for video. There are a lot more. In fact, many of the other ways you can make money with music using videos that we've cataloged either in our talks, newsletter, or book, Making Money With Music have to do with promoting all of the rest of your income sources, including patronage, merch, music sales, live shows, and more. It's just the platform just happens to also provide you with ad revenue sharing on top of the others. So take advantage of it and sign up for ContentID and strive for becoming a YouTube Partner by hitting 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours by adopting all the techniques we discussed in this three-part series.
For even more revenue-generating ideas, check out our book Making Money With Music and our free newsletter focused on how musicians can make money with music at makingmoneywithmusic.com."
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Authors of the critically-acclaimed modern classic, The Indie Band Survival Guide, Billboard Magazine call Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan “the ideal mentors for aspiring indie musicians who want to navigate an ever-changing music industry.” Their latest book, Making Money With Music (Macmillan) and free Making Money With Music Newsletter, help all musicians from startups to pros build a sustainable music business and make money in today's tech-driven music environment.