Policy & claim basics

The features described in this article are available only to partners who use YouTube's Content ID matching system.

A policy is a set of rules that specify how a content owner wants YouTube to handle a claimed video. When you claim a video, you assert ownership over the content of the video, like the audio, visual, or audiovisual elements. Learn more about claims.

As an owner, you choose whether users can view the video and whether YouTube displays advertisements with the video. You say how you want YouTube to handle the video by associating a policy with it:

  • Monetize: Allow users to view the video and display advertisements with it.
  • Track: Allow users to view the video without advertisements; collect statistics about video views.
  • Block: Don't allow users to view the video on YouTube.
If you select Monetize, claimed videos will be reviewed to ensure they meet our advertiser-friendly content guidelines before advertisements are displayed. This option authorizes YouTube to display advertisements with a claimed video, but it does not specify which types of advertisements YouTube displays. You can specify the types of advertisements using advertising settings.

How policy works

A policy consists of one or more "if-then" rules that determine which of the three actions to take. For example, a policy that monetizes the video for viewers in the United States and Canada and blocks it for the rest of the world consists of the following rules:

Condition Action
(1) If the user’s location is the United States or Canada Monetize the video
(2) If the user’s location is elsewhere Block the content


YouTube associates a policy with a video whenever someone claims the video. When a video has multiple valid claims and therefore multiple valid policies associated with it, YouTube applies whichever policy results in the most restrictive action.

For example, if one policy says to monetize the video and another says to block it, YouTube blocks the video. See Which policy applies? for more details about how YouTube determines which policy to apply to a given video.

Using policy rules

A user’s location is the most common condition for a policy rule, although other conditions are available for policies used with YouTube’s Content ID system. Learn more about usage policies and match policies.

YouTube recommends creating policies that apply worldwide. You should include territory rules in a policy only when you need to treat viewers differently within the territories where you own rights.

There are three predefined policies that you can use:

  • Monetize in all countries
  • Track in all countries
  • Block in all countries

Learn how to create custom policies for more control over your content.

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