YouTube: A market for your music?
HI There, it has been a while? The picture this week is of my two Goldens I adopted this spring. Aren't they sweet?? Anyhoo, his week we will talk about YouTube Monetization. I think I am about 90% accurate about this info, but please feel free to correct me or to add info in the comments.
I don’t want to appear negative in this article but I want to make sure you get an understanding of the ins and outs of this market. There is a great potential here if you target your music for these purposes. But be aware of what this means for other uses of your music,.
There is a way to make money from use of your music on YouTube. This is called Monetization and is based on revenue generated from Ads placed on videos that use your music. The way the music is identified is by what is called Content ID
WHAT is Content ID?
Content ID allows copyright owners to identify when videos incorporate their musical content. This then allows YouTube to generate revenue by placing advertising next to content that has been included in the Content ID program. This is called Monetization. Read more about how it works here on YouTube Content ID program
To be able to cash in on Content ID you must qualify for this program. There are specific criteria to be qualified, namely: Quoted from YouTube “To be approved, they must own exclusive rights to a substantial body of original material that is frequently uploaded by the YouTube user community.”
What this means is that the average musical Joe will most likely NOT Qualify. Plus do you have the time to troll YouTube for every time one of your songs is used and have the system set up to collect from this use? Most likely not.. So of course there are companies set up to do this. Companies like Rumblefish and AdRev
, Will do this for you. They use a musical fingerprint to identify uses of music signed to them. Sign your songs to them and they will collect your YouTube revenue and also have your songs available for Micro licensing (apps, social videos etc.). Sounds great right???
Well the problem lies in the fact that if you already have your songs signed to a publisher, you may OR may not be able to sign up for one of these services. You need to find out if your publisher already is signed up and collecting for you. And sometimes the fine print of these services involves some exclusivity so you need to read the contract and talk to your publishers. If you don’t have publishers yet, I would still think twice about signing songs here in case it “ruins” any future deals you may get. Not saying it will but don’t rush into anything unless you have a ton of music and some of it you want to gear toward this market.
Also you need to keep track of which songs you sign where so there are no conflicts. TuneCore and CD baby advertise their Publishing administrative services heavily and say that they will collect on your behalf and also try and license your songs. However, if you sign with them, you may not be able to sign your songs to another Publisher, even in a non-exclusive situation. Some claim that these deals are non-exclusive, but I have a publisher who will not sign any of your tracks that are with a publishing administrator, most likely because they are already collecting your YouTube royalties or there are some exclusive deals that they are getting involved with which will not allow you to have the song anywhere else. And in the fine print it may say that you cannot have that song with another agency.
To read more about these publishing admin deals read this blog. It is very informative Ari’s Take
It is always a good idea to check with any publisher before signing to any of these publishing admin deals or to sites like Rumblefish or Adrev.
How exactly do you make money on Content ID?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t’ make money per view, it is per interaction with the Advertisement (monetized views).
There is a Cost per click CPC and a cost per View CPV (views the ad for 30 seconds) that is charged to the advertiser then eventually to you or 50% to you if you are signed to a company that collects for you.
Bottom line is that if you or a video with your music gets 1 million views, unless people are clicking on or watching the ads, you won’t make a penny They say it is around $1 per 1000 CPC or CPV depending on what is charged. You may get $40 per million views if you are lucky. Here is a video on how many views it takes to make money on YouTube. It can be done; you have to have a very targeted audience and channel.
Can I monetize my own content?
Technically yes. You need to be a YouTube partner and have a Google AdSense account. If you make your own music videos and own the content/copyright then you can monetize. Here is the kicker though.. If my song is signed to a place that collects on my behalf and I post a video, then I will get a copyright notice from YouTube, and to keep the content up I need to accept that copyright notice, even though I own the content. The service will then collect any ad revenue and I will get my half. Kinda messed up. I disputed a claim on one of my videos because I own the copyright and I should be able to collect my own money.
Is it worth it?
If you don’t have a highly viewed channel, then it is probably not worth worrying about. However, if your music has the potential to be used in YouTube Programming, highly visible channels, network run channels, Advertisements etc. Then there is the potential of making some money from YouTube.
I know that was a lot of stuff to digest. But there this is an entire new market for music and the kinks are still being worked out. Just read the fine print and don’t jump the gun.
-See Ya Next time!
Michelle Lockey is a multi-award winning singer-songwriter sharing the knowledge she has learned over the years writing for Film & TV.
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