Create a policy

Features described in this article only apply to users of YouTube Studio Content Manager. For info on general YouTube policies, learn more here.

In Studio Content Manager, a policy is a set of rules that specify what actions to take when videos are claimed by Content ID. When a video is claimed, the policy determines how one or more of these rules are applied: 

"" Monetize: Allow the video to be viewed with ads.

 Track: Allow the video to viewed without ads and get data about video views.

"" Block: Don't allow the video to be viewable.

To create a policy, you select one or more of these rules and add conditions to them, such as reference match amount, to specify how and when rules should apply.

Add a new policy

  1. Sign in to Studio Content Manager.
  2. From the left menu, select Policies .
  3. Choose a creation method:
    • Use existing policy as template: Find the existing policy, then click Select action and then Duplicate. A prefilled template loads that you can edit to make your new policy.
    • Make new policy: Click ADD NEW POLICY and then Add new policy.
    • Create YouTube Shorts preview policy (Music label and distributor partners only): Follow these steps.
  4. Enter a Policy name and Policy description for the new policy.
    • Use a name that summarizes the policy’s action and clearly distinguishes it from other policies, such as "Monetize only in France."
  5. Click ADD RULE and select the policy’s action: Monetize, Track, Block, or Route for review.
    • If you select Route for review, you’ll need to specify whether that applies to a Monetize, Track, or Block action. Learn more about the Route for review option.
      Tip: If you want the policy to apply at a future time, click ADD SCHEDULED POLICY. Select the policy action (Monetize, Block, Track, or Route for review). Enter the date and time when the policy should take effect in UTC or your local time. Then, follow the remaining steps below.
  6. Click ADD CONDITION to specify any policy conditions. Choose between: Match type, Viewer location, User video match amount, or Reference match amount.
    • When you add a condition, it means the action you selected in Step 5 won’t be taken unless the conditions you specify are met.
    • You can add multiple conditions. When there’s more than one condition, the rule applies only when all conditions are met.
    • If selecting User video match amount or Reference match amount, enter the appropriate qualifications: Percent % or Minutes (mm:ss), Is greater than, Is smaller than, or Is equal to, and your value.
  7. Click SAVE. The new policy will show on the Policies  page and can now be applied to claimed videos.
Using custom policies, the same policy rules can apply to many claimed videos at once. When you edit a policy, changes are automatically applied to all claims using that policy.

Examples

Below are some common scenarios with instructions for how to translate the scenarios into policies.

Set different upload policies in different territories

Example scenario

I want to monetize my video in the US, block it in Australia, and track it in Japan. I don’t own the rights to my video anywhere else.

How to set up the policy:

  1. Make sure you set ownership of your asset to the US, Australia, and Japan.
  2. Set Block outside of ownership on the claim for your uploaded video.
  3. Create a custom policy and add 3 rules: Monetize, Block, and Track.
  4. Add the Viewer location condition to each rule.
  5. For the Monetize rule, click EDIT COUNTRIES.
    1. Make sure the default option Add select territories is selected.
    2. Click Add territory and select United States.
    3. Click SAVE.
  6. For the Block rule, click EDIT COUNTRIES.
    1. Make sure the default option Add select territories is selected.
    2. Click Add territory and select Australia.
    3. Click SAVE.
  7. For the Track rule, click EDIT COUNTRIES.
    1. Make sure the default option Add select territories is selected.
    2. Click Add territory and select Japan.
    3. Click SAVE.

The policy above will now result in these actions:

Rule Condition
Monetize the video If the Viewer location is United States
Block the video If the Viewer location is Australia
Track the video If the Viewer location is Japan
Create a reference file for Content ID matching only, with no publicly viewable video

Example scenario

I’m uploading a reference for Content ID to claim user-generated content, but I don’t want anybody to view the file I'm uploading.

How to set up the policy:

You don't need a policy in this scenario. Deliver the reference video using a Reference Only spreadsheet template. Another option is to set the uploaded video to Private.

Allow fan-uploaded clips

Example scenario

I want to run ads on fan-uploaded videos containing clips shorter than 5 minutes and block videos containing clips longer than 5 minutes.

How to set up the policy:

  1. Create a custom policy and add 2 rules: Monetize and Block.
  2. Add the condition User video match amount to each rule.
  3. For the Monetize rule, next to User video match amount, select Minutes (mm:ss) and Is smaller than. In the text box, enter 5 minutes.
  4. For the Block rule, next to User video match amount, select Minutes (mm:ss) and Is greater than. In the text box, enter 5 minutes.

The policy above will now result in these actions:

Rule Condition
Monetize the video If User video match amount is smaller than 5 minutes
Block the video If User video match amount is greater than 5 minutes
Claim dubbed versions of my content

Example scenario

I want dubbed versions of my content to be claimed.

How to set up the policy:

Usually you don't need to create separate policies to claim dubbed versions of your audiovisual content. By default, match policies encompass both video and audiovisual matches.

You only need a separate policy if you want to treat dubbed content differently from full matches. For example, if you want to set a different match threshold or apply a different action to dubbed versions. In this scenario, create a policy that has separate rules for full audiovisual matches and for dubbed visual matches.

 

Music label and distributor partners only:

Add a YouTube Shorts preview policy

If you’re a music label or distributor partner and you want to support Shorts previews, you need to create a YouTube Shorts preview policy and apply it to the relevant sound recording assets. To add a YouTube Shorts preview policy:

  1. Sign in to Studio Content Manager.
  2. From the left menu, select Policies .
  3. Click ADD NEW POLICY and then Add YouTube Shorts preview policy.
  4. Enter a Policy name and Policy description.
    • You can use the example below as a guide to set up a Shorts preview policy.
  5. Next to Reference match amount, enter the desired allowable length in seconds.
    • The maximum length of a Short is 60 seconds.
    • To make sure the full-length track is available in Shorts on its release date, the match policy must have a Reference match amount condition that allows for Shorts using 16 seconds or less of the reference file. In other words, the reference match should be set to more than 16 seconds.
  6. Click SAVE.
Notes:
  • We recommend you add a Reference match amount condition to allow uploads that add the preview outside of Shorts creation tools. For example, if you also provide a preview on other platforms and want to allow cross-posting to YouTube, you should include this condition to allow for usages up to and including the length of that preview. Otherwise, these usages may be blocked.
  • There may be limits to the amount of music that users can add. To confirm the music usage duration allowed under your agreement with YouTube, refer to your Shorts amendment or reach out to your YouTube support contact.

Example

Allow Shorts previews

Example scenario

I want to allow users to sample a 30 second song preview in Shorts for a song with a future release date.

How to set up the policy:

  1. Sign in to Studio Content Manager.
  2. From the left menu, select Policies .
  3. Click ADD NEW POLICY and then Add YouTube Shorts preview policy.
  4. Enter a Policy name and Policy description.
    • Example policy name: “Shorts preview - 30 seconds”
    • Example policy description: “Allow for Shorts previews up to 30 seconds”
  5. Next to Reference match amount, enter 00:30.
  6. Click SAVE.
  7. From the left menu, select Assets .
  8. Find the relevant sound recording asset and click the asset's title to open its Asset details page.
  9. From the left menu, select Ownership & Policy .
  10. Click the Match Policy tab and then EDIT ASSET MATCH POLICY.
  11. Search for the Shorts preview policy created in Steps 1-6 above and select the policy in the list.
  12. Click SET CUSTOM POLICY.
  13. Click ADD SCHEDULED POLICY and select your desired match policy.
  14. Enter the full-length track’s release date. 
  15. Click ADD CONDITION and then Viewer location 
    • If you don't add a Viewer location condition, the scheduled policy may not properly apply. For example, if you want to monetize user videos using content from the full-length track in all territories, you would set the Viewer location condition to “Global” and the match policy to "Monetize".
  16. Click SAVE to save the policy. 
  17. Click APPLY to apply the updated match policy on the asset.

After completing Step 6 above, you can also schedule the policy using DDEX by following the steps here.

Keep in mind:

If your policy has a Reference match amount condition and users can access portions of the song from other platforms, then this policy may allow uploads using these portions of the song from other platforms. For example, the following scenario could also happen by using the example policy above: 

  • Label delivers 30 seconds of a song’s chorus as a Shorts preview to YouTube, but makes a preview of the verse from that same song available elsewhere.
  • User uploads video, created outside of Short's creations tools, using the song’s verse.
  • Video may be viewable if the length of the song's usage doesn’t exceed 30 seconds.

To limit song usage from other platforms, you can remove the Reference match amount condition when creating your Shorts preview policy.

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