YouTube Content ID Pays Out One Billion Dollars…

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YouTube’s Content ID system is largely based on strategies involving loopholes in copyright law. The system informs partners of infringing videos, allowing them to either make money off these videos through ads or to have them taken down.

Google says most of their partners choose to monetize videos over taking them down, which begs the question… How much revenue has the Content ID system actually generated since it began in 2007?

The Financial Times says the system has now paid out $1 billion to partnered companies.

5,000 companies participate in the program, including countless record labels, TV networks, and movie studios.

Olivier Delfosse, Senior Vice President of Digital at FremantleMedia, says his company looks at monetized videos to help them figure out what fans want to see.



Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

13 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    “The Financial Times says the system has now paid out $1 billion to partnered companies”

    So eh, what happened to the rest of the money?

    * Music accounts for between 38-50% of all YouTube traffic
    * YouTube approximately makes $3-4bn/year
    * YouTube claims to pay 55% to content owners.

    So how come Google only paid $1bn to content owners during the past 8 years?

    Is this just another example of seriously bad Google math?

    (Like I just googled “Katy Perry” and got 7,000,000 results — but when I looked at the last search page, the 7,000,000 had turned into… 280.)

    • Anonymous

      I’d like to add that I’ve been a natural born YouTube fan boy for years, and that the current version of the site still is the only streaming service I would recommend — though it pays significantly less per stream than Spotify.

      I’d also like to repeat why: Until now, it has been possible to use YouTube for non-cannibalizing previews, interviews and behind-the-scenes only. Which means every cent has been extra — in addition to iTunes sales — as opposed to instead of, as is the case with Spotify and the other cannibalizing streaming services.

      However, that’s going to change drastically now:

      When Google launches YouTube Music Key, you have to upload your entire catalog to its paid and free services — on release day.

      So, given the fact that Google pays much less than any other service, except the Pirate Bay, it is crucial for artists to avoid the new YouTube if at all possible…

      • RemiSwierczek

        THE KEY is to educate Larry Page that music is worth 20 to 40 times more than ads around it!

        There is very simple almost mathematical proof to show it the KEY MEN.

        Next day, if not from respect to music but respect to own GREED we should see the beginning of new era for music industry.

    • Anonymous

      You just apply (google ContentID; click on the title ‘How Content ID works’, and then click the word ‘apply’ in the text — I won’t paste the link as it will take hours to show up).

      If you own all the rights to your songs, and they are uploaded frequently to YouTube without permission, then you should be qualified. However, Google may have made it harder in the past few years — I saw another guy who were rejected though he had about 100 songs on YouTube (I don’t know how often they were pirated though, and that’s important).

      But again, ContentID is only available if you’re monetizing your videos in the first place, and that seems to become impossible when Google launches YouTube Music Key (unless you sign Google’s new, controversial contract — the one Paul leaked this summer — and you don’t want to do that).

  2. Anonymous

    Partnered companies. Not just record labels. TV networks and movie studios no doubt make up a large chunk of the payouts.

    • Anonymous

      “Partnered companies. Not just record labels.”

      Good point — at least 1/3 of that billion dollars goes to YouTube’s non-music channels.

      Which means Google paid less than $0.7bn to the music industry during the past 8 years!

      So again: What happened to the rest of the money?

      * Music accounts for between 38-50% of all YouTube traffic
      * YouTube approximately makes $3-4bn/year
      * YouTube claims to pay 55% to content owners.

      • Anonymous

        “* YouTube approximately makes $3-4bn/year”

        …and let’s say 40% of YouTube’s $3.5bn revenue in 2013 was generated by music. That’s $1.4bn. Then Google takes its 45% cut.

        That leaves us with $0.77bn.

        So YouTube should have paid $0.77bn to the music industry in 2013 alone. Instead it paid $0.7bn over the past 8 years.

  3. Bobby Tangeray

    I haven’t been able to secure a youtube cotent id .

    I own all the rights to music/video, but still have received no response from Google. I tried to avoid RumbleFish and CD Baby from taking more than half my earnings merely by stealing my adsense. I need a YouTube content ID so that others can use my music on their videos easily and give me credit/pay for it.

    I apologize for all my duplicate comments, this is the correct one. I am unable to delete my own posts.


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