99.5% of All Infringing Music Videos are Resolved by Content ID, YouTube Claims

YouTube Content ID

Content ID is damn effective, according to the latest stats from YouTube.

Virtually all issues involving copyright infringement on YouTube are automatically resolved using Content ID, according to stats released by the video giant.  In fact, an extreme 99.5 percent of all copyright issues specifically related to sound recordings are quickly and automatically resolved by Content ID, which is YouTube’s homegrown identification system for managing copyright claims.

The stat was included in an anti-piracy document issued by Google and shared with Digital Music News over the weekend.  “To date, YouTube has paid out over $3 billion to the music industry, and our Content ID system on YouTube—which identifies user-uploaded videos to help rightsholders better control their content—has generated over $2 billion for partners since it first launched,” Google reported.

On a broader scale, Content ID quickly resolved 98% of copyright claims, including those tied to film, TV, gaming, and music, according to the search giant.  But that figure moves towards 100% for music-specific content.  “Today, Content ID scans videos uploaded to YouTube against more than 600 years of audio and visual reference content,” the report states.  “Over 98% of copyright issues are resolved via Content ID.”

“Looking at the music industry specifically, 99.5% of reported sound recording copyright claims are automated through Content ID—meaning that Content ID automatically identifies the work and applies the copyright owner’s preferred action without the need for intervention by the copyright owner in all but 0.5% of cases.”

Content ID allows rights owners to identify their works, then decide what actions to take.  Options include monetizing the asset by taking over advertising inventory, or outright blocking any use (and sacrificing ad-based earnings).  That system of ‘catch-and-decide’ now accounts for an impressive half of all music industry generated by the music industry on the platform, according to the document.  “Content ID accounts for roughly 50% of the music industry’s revenue from YouTube,” the company noted.

The strong claim is the latest in a string of stats designed to counter mounting complaints over copyright infringement and devaluation by the music industry.  That includes voices like artist manager Irving Azoff, producer Rodney Jerkins, superstar singer Adele, Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine, and indie legend Thom Yorke, among many others.  YouTube has responded to those complaints through a variety of counter-campaigns, including the heavy use of statistics.  Most frequently, YouTube pointed to cumulative payouts back to the music industry of $3 billion, as well as statistics showing relatively low levels of music interest among its users.

On the issue of actual infringement, some research is also showing scant levels of infringing works.  Most recently, Midia Research noted that just 2% of music video content on YouTube is actually infringing.  The rest, about 98%, are not only completely authorized, about 75% of them are high-quality and supplied by the labels themselves through Vevo, according to the same dataset.

So if the music industry is so irate about piracy and devaluation, why not simply rip their content down using Content ID?  That remains a persistent question, though YouTube critics point to a constant game of cat-and-mouse fueled by the DMCA.  In that familiar routine, a music video gets ripped down, only to appear minutes later, thanks to continued efforts of millions of uploading users.

YouTube is now disagreeing with those accusations by pointing to a highly functional Content ID system that prevents re-uploads, a counter-argument the music industry has yet to effectively rebut.

And what about smaller content owners?   That group, which includes many DMN readers, have pointed to a Content ID system that only caters to the biggest players, not the little guy.  All of which means that indie and unsigned artists, ie., those with the fewest resources to combat piracy, are those most affected by YouTube’s top-heavy, exclusionary policies around Content ID.

36 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    YouTube and main streamers like AppleMusic or Spotify are POACHERS killing $300 billion dollar MUSIC ELEPHANT to harvest less than $10B in ads and subs.

    Totally INTOXICATED UMG propelled losers in pursuit of MUSIC CLIFF!

    Wake up music nerd land – DISCOVERY MOMENT MONETIZATION can deliver $100B just from Radio and streaming by 2020 – this would be only the beginning.

    Larry Page the main POISON of music is the key ingredient of new reality.
    Let’s TRIPLE GOOGLE ON MUSIC!

    Reply
  2. Versus

    Questions:

    1. What about all the rights-holders and musicians who do not qualify for ContentID, that is, most of us?

    2. Why aren’t the accounts of infringing uploaders terminated immediately?

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “What about all the rights-holders and musicians who do not qualify for ContentID, that is, most of us?”

      Paul wants to start discussions.

      Repeating Google’s lies is the easiest way to accomplish that.

      And ContentID is not only not working — as you say, it’s also not available.

      Reply
      • Sam @ Projekt Records

        You can file a YouTube DMCA via the link on each video:
        “••• more” > Report > Infringes my rights > Infringes my copyrights
        I find if the same account gets multiple complaints this way, they seem to get terminated pretty quickly.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          It’s not sending the actual takedown notices that takes time — it’s finding the files!

          The vast majority of content owners have to pay for that, or do it on their own time.

          Reply
          • Me

            To be fair, If you’re having a hard time searching for your content, it’s probably not generating enough views to really make any money off anyways.

          • Anonymous

            “If you’re having a hard time searching for your content, it’s probably not generating enough views to really make any money”

            That doesn’t even make sense:

            Users bury clips — sound as well as video — ten feet down in totally unrelated videos.

            If you want to find more than a tiny fraction, you need to pay professional anti-piracy services (since Content ID isn’t available to the vast majority of users).

          • Me

            If you’re worried about somebody’s cat video with your music barely audible in the background with people talking over it that only has 47 views, you’ve got too much time on your hand.

        • Versus

          This is time-consuming and puts the burden of enforcement on us. Meanwhile the damage is done, and the music just reappears elsewhere. Furthermore, it’s not always easy to find the infringing videos; sometimes their title has not relation to the music name, or the music is being used as soundtrack to something else.

          Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      Those accounts, from what I’ve learned, are not terminated immediately, but strikes are issued and accounts penalized. These penalties can be pretty harsh.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        This is true, but you don’t address his first — and most important — point.

        Reply
      • Versus

        What kinds of penalties?
        If it’s just having accounts limited or terminated, that is not very harsh at all. There is no real cost to the infringer, and no compensation for losses to the infringed.

        Reply
    • JTVDigital

      Anyone can monetize its content on YouTube with Content ID by going through your digital distributor. They ALL offer this service.

      Reply
      • Troglite

        That doesn’t work if your intention is to block the use of your works instead of monetizing them for a few pennies of ad revenue. Those third party distributors all rely on taking a % of those advertising pennies.

        Reply
        • JTVDigital

          It does, if you ask your distributor to block instead of monetize.
          Not sure about the exact rationale for not getting those few cents though, since if people want to get access to your music for some reason, they will find a way, was it via YouTube or other sources (if you want / see an interest to block I assume you are within the top 10 world’s biggest music sellers?)

          Reply
      • Anonymous

        “Anyone can monetize its content on YouTube with Content ID by going through your digital distributor”

        No!

        Sigh. Why do I have to repeat this every other week… you can NOT do that; please see my comment below.

        Reply
        • JTVDigital

          If you think you have a point (which you obviously don’t) maybe a good start would be to use a pseudo different than “Anonymous” so that the community could praise your great knowledge of Content ID.
          Copy/pasting conservative terms of service from distributors will not take you very far. You believe you are correct / your point is valid? Great. Please display your identity then when trolling all comments from people who provide valuable info / feedback.

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            “Copy/pasting conservative terms of service from distributors”

            I’m stating indisputable facts and citing my sources — the three leading distributors on the market:

            And the vast majority of artists can’t use CD Baby, Tunecore or Audiam to monetize YouTube views.

            Now, what were your facts again?

            And, more importantly, what are your sources?

  3. Anonymous

    “YouTube has paid out over $3 billion to the music industry”

    At the current rate, it would take YouTube almost a century to pay $3 billion. 🙂

    Do have look at streaming revenues for 2014 and 2015…

    Reply
  4. Eric Schmuck

    Only 8000 people have access to Content ID. Everyone else gets pirated.

    Reply
  5. anonymous

    Musicians think they are so much more important than they actually are. Guess what musicians…youre not. There is too much music is the problem. Everybody is a musician anymore and can be pretty good so its not as special as it used to be. Music isn’t nearly as cultural relevant as it used to be. Movies and Video Games have become far more important than Music in the last 20 years. Music is now just the background noise to these better forms of media.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      True. Everyone and their brother is a musician now that technology is where it’s at. Except instead of being something important like Doctors, or Scientist, they are musicians that we don’t need.

      Why do these people deserve a higher paycheck than a doctor? Most of the people that are complaining are multi million dollar artist that are completely greedy.

      Reply
      • Troglite

        “Most of the people that are complaining are multi million dollar artist that are completely greedy.”

        Actually, that would represent a very small MINORITY of professional musicians/songwriters.

        Reply
  6. Musicservices4less

    Paul, it seems a lot of comments are around the issue of “qualifying to use Content ID.” Why don’t you or one of your contributors do a piece on who, how and problems associated with that concern?
    I’m just sayin’

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “Why don’t you or one of your contributors do a piece on who, how and problems associated with that concern?”

      It’s very simple:

      Content ID is NOT available, unless you have a huge catalog.

      The vast majority of artists and youtubers don’t qualify. They have to pay various companies to send takedown notices.

      But don’t trust me — apply for Content ID, and see for yourself!

      Reply
  7. iamthegif

    Radio stations play your music without permission and you have to use ASCAP, BMI, and SoundExchange to collect royalties on your behalf. ContentID is similar, you can’t collect directly but you can use your digital distributor which most artists have because they can’t get into music stores directly either.

    CD Baby, Tunecore, Onerpm, and just about every other distributor will do ContentID for artists that use their service in exchange for a percentage. ASCAP charges artists to join and takes a percentage of overall revenue for operating costs. And, as outlined in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3zctUf4QTU they straight up don’t even pay smaller artists their royalties for radio play in order to funnel that money to more popular artists, but everyone seems to be OK with that.

    Giving access to ContentID through third parties like digital distributors has already started a problem. Artists claim videos that don’t even use their music and steal revenue from honest Youtubers. If artists were allowed to join directly, the level of abuse would be astounding. Everyone on here complaining would be complaining about that too. If you’re not in the ContentId program is because you have chosen not to be, not because you can’t. I’m in the program through releases with CD Baby and OneRPM.

    Reply
    • Troglite

      That doesn’t work if your intention is to block the use of your works instead of monetizing them for a few pennies of ad revenue. Those third party distributors all rely on taking a % of those advertising pennies.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Please see my comment below; iamthegif is not correct; you can not use third party distributors unless you violate their rules (or are 100% acoustic).

        Reply
      • iamthegif

        OK, can’t argue with you there. At the same time, I can’t stop a radio station from playing my song or Pandora and why would I want to? It’s free promotion. That’s the point I don’t get. Youtube provides artists with free promotion that would cost tens of thousands of dollars to pay for. Artists should have the right to control their work, but I think a lot of us are far more concerned about Youtube than we should be.

        If your song is on Youtube it’s probably helping you way more than it’s hurting you. Take “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJs for example. The song peaked at #31 on Billboard when it was released in 1996. People started doing Youtube videos and Vines to it with a dance called “The Running Man” the song shot to a new high of #27 on Billboard in 2016, 20 years later.

        You should be able to restrict your music from Youtube but it’s basically cutting your nose to spite your face. It’s like telling radio stations and party DJs not to play your music.

        It’s really interesting seeing the difference in perspectives between established artists and up and comers. I know a lot of artists that would pay to have someone upload their music to Youtube and share it with their friends. You have people charging artists for it as service actually, believe it or not.

        On the other side, established artists are like “stop sharing my music” it’s mine, it’s mine, it’s mine.

        Reply
    • Anonymous

      “CD Baby, Tunecore, Onerpm, and just about every other distributor will do ContentID for artists that use their service in exchange for a percentage”

      No — that’s a common misconception!

      The vast majority of artists can’t use CD Baby, Tunecore or Audiam to monetize YouTube views:

      Almost all artists today use common sample-based keyboards and legit, cleared sample libraries in their songs, and that’s a no-no if you use Audiam (or CD Baby/Tunecore for that matter).

      And how do I know that?

      Because I asked Tunecore, CD Baby and Audiam about their policies on legitimate, commercial samples.

      Here’s what Tunecore said:

      “You cannot submit tracks to YouTube for revenue collection that Contain any audio library samples, sound effects, or production loops (such as GarageBand loops) -Contain any third party content that you do not have exclusively licensed (such as samples you do not have exclusively licensed)”

      I also asked Audiam if they had the same rules as Tunecore:

      They said: ”Yes, you must exclusively control the rights to the content you submit. These rules are not set by Tunecore or Audiam, but by Youtube.”

      [Audiam’s reply was not correct, however: YouTube does indeed allow artists to monetize tracks that include the type of non-exclusive legitimate samples I mention here, but content owners need to sign up with Content ID directly, as opposed to using a middle man, to do that, so we’re back to square one.]

      And CD Baby has similar rules:

      “As far as YouTube goes you would have to monetize the content on your own as we can not monetize this type of content [i.e. legitimate and cleared but non-exclusive samples] as it is often disputed or removed”.

      * Please note that I’m not familiar with Onerpm, but I doubt their rules are different from Audiam’s. Could be worth a try.

      “I’m in the program through releases with CD Baby”

      Then you’re either
      a) Violating their rules (not recommended; you can lose everything), or
      b) You don’t use any keyboards, synthesizers, drum machines, professional sample libraries like BFD or any cleared/legitimate sounds at all from Logic/Protools/Cubase or any other sequencer or similar app.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        “* Please note that I’m not familiar with Onerpm, but I doubt their rules are different from Audiam’s. Could be worth a try.”

        I contacted Onerpm, and their rules are unfortunately the same as those of the other aggregators. 🙁

        Reply

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