YouTube has a new feature that should be of particular interest to labels & artists. You’ll have to work out who owns the copyright if you have a label contract.
In the past, if someone else used your song as a “soundtrack” for a video they uploaded to youtube, you had only two options. You could ignore their use of copyrighted material, or you could petition Youtube to block that video. Now there is another option.
Youtube as implemented a Content Identification and Management System (Content ID). The system allows copyright holders to provide YouTube with video or audio reference files which they will then match against user uploaded content. If a video matches the profile of your copyrighted content (video or audio), your preselected action is taken.
Your options for each copyrighted piece are these:
- block any new content using this piece
- track stats on any new content using this piece
- monetize any new content using this piece
Monetizing it doesn’t mean that you get paid each time the video is viewed. What it does mean is that YouTube will place an overlay ad on the video with the title of the song, the artist’s name, album name, and a “Buy Now” button that links to the viewers choice of iTunes or Amazon.com.
If you’re a rights owner this might be something you should look into.
Here’s an example of an overlay ad in a user uploaded video. This video is about Spanish basketball player Ricky Rubio. It contains a song, by an independent artist, used as a background soundtrack. About 10 seconds into the video the ad appears, at 25 seconds the ad minimizes.
Similar links are starting to show up in some artist music videos as well. This recent YouTube blog post gives some more info on the program.