YouTube pays to use licensed music

YouTube pays to use licensed music

YouTube will soon let people make money off of long videos with licensed music.  Yesterday, a new program called "Creator Music" was announced at a Made on YouTube event.

This gives creators access to a huge library of popular songs that they can use in their videos without worrying about losing the right to make money from them.


When people use licensed music, they have a few options.

  • Need a license to use the music and keep 55% of the money.
  • Share profits with license holders.

YouTube says that if creators choose to give artists a cut of their earnings, their 55% share will be based on how many licensed tracks are in the video. Susan Cadrecha, a spokesperson for YouTube, says that the split is 27.5% for one track and 18.3% for two. Videos also have fees like performance rights fees taken out of their prices.

Creators have told us over and over that it's not hard to find the right song. Amjad Hanif, VP of Creator Products at YouTube, says, "The hard part is figuring out how to license it."

At least 50 labels, publishers, and distributors have made deals with YouTube so far. The big three labels (UMG, WMG, and Sony) don't seem to be part of any of these deals, though. In addition to this new program that lets creators use licensed music on YouTube, the site also wants to make it easier for creators to make money with YouTube Shorts.

"Music can power that emotional connection between artists, creators, and all of their fans," says Hanif. "We want to strengthen this by giving creators more options to work with and by helping artists meet fans where they already are—right here on YouTube."

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