YouTube Operations Guide

What are policies?

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 specifies how to handle a claimed video.

When a video gets claimed, you can decide whether a video gets one of these actions:

 Monetise: 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 Monetise, claimed videos will be reviewed to make sure that they meet our advertiser-friendly content guidelines before ads are displayed.
This option authorises YouTube to display advertisements with a claimed video, but it doesn't specify which types of ads are displayed. You can specify the types of ads using advertising settings. Learn more.

You can apply the three actions (monetise, track or block) to two different types of policies:

  • Upload policies: Policies applied to videos that you upload.
  • Match policies: Policies applied to videos that other people upload and Content ID claims.

Learn more about upload and match policies.

Tip: You can also apply the Route for review option to your policies. When Route for review is selected, it means that a manual review is required before the claim becomes active. Learn more about routing claims for manual review.

How a policy works

A policy is made up of one or more 'if-then' rules. Those rules decide which action to take (monetise, track or block) when certain conditions are met. For example, if you only want to monetise a video for viewers in the United States and Canada, the policy would be:

Condition Action
(1) If the user's location is the United States or Canada Monetise the video
(2) If the user's location is elsewhere Block the video


More than one partner can have a valid claim on the same video in the same territory. For example, one partner may claim the visual portion and another partner the audio portion.

When multiple partners have valid claims on a video, and therefore multiple valid policies, whichever policy results in the most restrictive action will be applied. Learn more about how policies are applied.

Choosing a policy

A user's location is the most common condition for a policy, but other conditions can be selected. In general, it's best to create policies that apply worldwide. Territory rules should only be included when you need to treat viewers differently within the territories where you own rights.

There are three predefined policies that you can choose from:

  • Monetise in all countries
  • Track in all countries
  • Block in all countries

You can also learn how to create custom policies for more control over your content.

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