Master Content ID: Audits and expert tips
Find out how audits and expert tips can help you achieve optimal results and avoid problems when using Content ID.
Consider the implications of rights management
With Content ID, you can efficiently manage your rights at scale. For optimal results, it’s important to use the tools responsibly, since mistakes may negatively impact you, other partners, or the YouTube Content ID ecosystem.
By educating your team about YouTube policies upfront and monitoring Content ID practices along the way, you can prevent issues that may disrupt your operations. Misusing Content ID creates a poor experience for other content owners and creators, and may impact your account status.
Content ID misuse happens when partners claim content for which they don’t have sufficient rights. Examples include enabling non-exclusive footage for matching, reinstating disputed claims without review, and misrepresenting territorial ownership of intellectual property.
YouTube takes action to address Content ID misuse. In most cases, partners correct their mistakes with no adverse consequences. However, if partners have repeated issues with Content ID misuse, consequences may include:
- disabling specific reference files or segments of reference files,
- requiring manual review for certain categories of references,
- disabling Content ID,
- or even terminating the partnership with YouTube.
As a Content ID partner, you’re responsible for avoiding invalid claims, such as claims from misidentified content or claims that interfere with authorized uses of content. If you receive an official warning about Content ID misuse, it’s important to correct the issues before penalties are imposed.
- We recommend that new hires take the “Rights enforcement with Content ID” course to get up to speed on managing rights on YouTube.
- Content managers also should pay attention to copyright strikes, since these may lead to penalties for managed channels.
- Review the “Content ID Glossary” (PDF) for definitions of key terms used in this course.
Conduct an audit to clean up claims
Sometimes mistakes happen, and you may discover accidental claims later. Cleaning up claims will enable legitimate content owners to control and monetize their copyrighted content.
Partners who have repeated issues with claiming could lose access to key YouTube features, such as automatic claiming (all claims would need to be manually reviewed), which could diminish your revenue from user-uploaded videos. A claims audit will help you to diligently clean up mistaken claims.
Audit Process for Automatic Claiming
- Review top assets. Sort assets by number of active claims and review your top performing assets, since these have the highest revenue potential. For a reference that generates erroneous claims, deactivate the reference and release all bad claims on that reference.
- Review disputes and appeals. Routinely check disputed claims and appealed claims. It may not be enough to release the disputed claim. Make sure you also review the underlying reference file, and exclude problematic segments, so bad claims don’t proliferate.
- Review top claims. Sort claims by lifetime views, and use filters such as Claim Status: Active and Partner Uploaded: No. Fix any problems at the source, often a reference file with ineligible or indistinct content.
- Review recent claims. Look at the 100 newest claims, or all claims from the last week, repeating the steps you did for top claims. Sort and filter by claim type or origin as applicable.
You can identify and isolate issues by applying additional filters as you sort claims. For example, you can search by specific asset type(s) or channel name(s). If you discover bad claims originating from a specific channel or show, you can take measures to limit Content ID matching from that source.
Note: If the majority of claims from a certain reference are bad, deactivate the reference, and Content ID will no longer match user-generated videos from that reference. Remember to not just deactivate the reference, but also release all bad claims on that reference.
When conducting your audit, look out for the following examples, which frequently contribute to invalid claims. We’ve compiled this list from YouTube experts who work with industry partners; your references may have other attributes that will influence Content ID claiming.
- Gameplay, video game cutscenes, and game trailers (all of these are only suitable as references if owned by the game publisher)
Music Labels / Publishers
- Public domain sound recordings or compositions
- Sample sound effects from music creation software
- Non-distinct karaoke recordings, jukebox style reference, long DJ mixes, and sound-alike recordings
- Video game original soundtracks
- Embedded audio samples from movie, TV, or radio
- Embedded footage such as viral videos or user smartphone video of breaking news
- Embedded movie trailers, music videos, viral videos, or commercials
Get tips to make the most of Content ID
Because Content ID misuse has serious consequences, partners should adhere to established guidelines. Here are tips to help you properly claim, control, and monetize content on YouTube.
- Know the rules. Not all types of content are eligible for Content ID matching. All reference content must be sufficiently distinct. Avoid content that is embedded third-party, public domain, non-exclusively licensed, soundalike, or overly generic. Consult this YouTube Help article to review examples of eligible (and ineligible) content. Be responsible, because invalid claims can prevent other content owners from earning revenue.
- Maintain correct asset ownership. Assign your asset ownership only in territories where you hold sufficient rights to the content. Update asset ownership as soon as it changes, such as by territory. Look for assets with conflicting ownership in your ToDo queue, and fix them from the Ownership & Policy tab on the asset detail page. Active monetization claims may be postponed until an ownership conflict is resolved.
- Deliver clean references. Confirm that your references are suitable for Content ID. Full-length references result in more Content ID matches and higher monetization rates. However, be aware that ineligible content in a reference file (such as commercials or audio samples) may lead to invalid claims. If your reference contains third-party material, YouTube provides tools for you to exclude those segments from Content ID matching.
- Provide individual references. Provide an individual reference for each piece of intellectual property. For example, create a reference for a song, not a full album. Don’t create a reference for a compilation, continuous DJ mix, mashup, or countdown list. Look out for invalid references and reference overlaps in your ToDo queue, and take action within 30 days to either declare or release your exclusive rights on the content.
- Conduct manual reviews. Set a “route for review” match policy to manually review potential claims from content that is sold or licensed at scale, such as production music libraries typically licensed for use in game, film, TV, or other soundtracks. Customize your match policies, manually reviewing claims before your policy gets applied, so you are accurately claiming user videos based on our Content ID guidelines and your business needs.
Putting this into practice, let’s say you’re a sports association or governing body that wants to enable Content ID matching for a college basketball game (for which you hold rights). Here are some Content ID actions that could cause issues:
- Declaring asset ownership worldwide, if you only have ownership in the U.S.
- Including commercial breaks in your reference (not excluding those segments)
- Creating a new reference that consists of highlights from all the season’s games
- Confirming your potential claims without actually reviewing the matches
One last point: You may have content that satisfies YouTube’s monetization criteria, so you can run ads on your uploaded video, but isn’t eligible for Content ID matching against other videos. For example, if you have commercial rights to content, licensed non-exclusively from a third party, you may be able to monetize on YouTube, but that content isn’t suitable for use as a Content ID reference since it isn't exclusively owned.
- Just because you own a piece of content doesn’t mean it’s always suitable as a reference. Only enable eligible content for Content ID matching.
- You may wish to consult the YouTube Operations Guide to read about other circumstances that may apply to your business.
Did you know?
Over 90% of all Content ID claims result in monetization, which generates significant revenue for YouTube partners.