Understand Creator Music usage details

Creator Music is now available to U.S. creators in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Expansion to YPP creators outside of the U.S. is pending.
Note: Features described in this article are available through a web browser.

In Creator Music, you may see the following options to use a track:

  • Get a license: Pay an upfront fee (or no fee for some tracks) to use music in your monetizing video. Earn the same revenue share that applies to your monetizing videos without music.

  • Share revenue: Pay no upfront fee and split video revenue with the track’s rights holders.

Usage details, which define how a song can be used, vary depending on the track. The track's rights holders set the usage details for a track and can change them at their discretion.

Keep in mind:
  • There are also specific restrictions on how licensed music can be used within videos.
  • Some Creator Music tracks may not be eligible for licensing or revenue sharing. If you use one of these tracks, your video could get a Content ID claim or a copyright removal request.
  • You can check usage details in advance so you know how a track can be safely used in your video.
 

Usage details for licenses

A license gives someone legal permission to use content that other people own the rights to. Before you license a track, it’s important to understand its usage details so you know what permissions you have to use the track you’re licensing.

Price

Creator Music lets creators license music directly from music partners, such as music labels and publishers, who own the rights to the music. As the rights holders, music partners set the usage details, including license pricing, for the tracks they offer for licensing on Creator Music.

Some licenses have a set price for all creators and other tracks may have customized pricing based on a channel’s size. Some licenses don't cost anything, such as YouTube Audio Library licenses, Creative Commons licenses, and other no-cost licenses offered by rights holders.

Prices of licenses are subject to change at the discretion of the track’s rights holders. When a license price changes, any past purchases or license uses won’t be affected.

Keep in mind that if you don't want to buy a license, you can choose to share revenue if your video meets the revenue sharing usage requirements.

Amount of song

Amount of song refers to how much of the track the rights holders are allowing to be used in a video.

For any licensable track you choose to license, you can use as much of the song as you want in a video of any duration.

For licensable tracks you don't want buy a license for, you can instead choose to share revenue if the amount of song you use is less than 30 seconds in a video that's longer than 3 minutes. Learn more about revenue sharing usage terms.

Supported regions
Supported regions refers to the countries/territories where track usage is allowed by the track's rights holders and is covered by the license.
Certain tracks in Creator Music may only be available in certain countries/territories. If this is the case, you will see Restricted next to Supported regions on the track's usage details.
Note that if Supported regions is listed as All, but you decide to use the track under revenue sharing usage terms (and do not license it), then use of the track may be restricted to the countries/territories where revenue sharing is available. To see where your video is sharing revenue, check your video's revenue sharing status.
Expiration

When you purchase a license, your license expiration will let you know how long your license will remain active. Each track in the Creator Music store has different terms set by the rights holder, so the duration of your license will vary depending on the track you’ve licensed.

Your license begins as soon as it’s purchased through the Creator Music marketplace. Once it expires, videos containing that track may be subject to the following:

  • Updated monetization terms
  • Changes to video visibility
  • New copyright claims

To prevent interruption to your video’s revenue, you may be able to renew licenses for tracks that you’ve purchased.

Video monetization
When you license a track from Creator Music and use it in a video, that video can be fully monetized as long as all third-party content in your video is licensed (or you have all the necessary rights to use the non-licensed third-party content in your video).
Keep in mind that videos that use licensed tracks earn revenue from views on the YouTube watch page, not from Shorts or live streams.
If you decide to use the track under revenue sharing usage terms (and do not license it), then monetization would be shared with the track's rights holders and may be restricted to the countries/territories where revenue sharing is available. To see where your video is sharing revenue, you can check your video's revenue sharing status.
Content type
Tracks available for licensing or revenue sharing through Creator Music can only be used in long-form videos, not Shorts or live streams. To learn more about sharing revenue on Shorts, go to Ad revenue with Shorts.
Other details on license usage
  • Only YouTube Audio Library licenses are valid to use in multiple videos uploaded to YouTube. All other Creator Music paid licenses are valid for one use in a single video uploaded to YouTube only. 
  • Creator Music licenses are not transferable to other platforms or other YouTube channels. Creator Music licenses can be transferred to other videos within a YouTube channel if they haven’t already been used in a published video.
  • There are also restrictions on how licensed music can be used within videos. For more info, go to Creator Music eligibility and restrictions.

Usage details for revenue sharing

If you use a track that's eligible to share revenue in your video, it means you can split video revenue with the track's rights holders. Before you start revenue sharing, it’s important to understand the track's usage details so you know what permissions you have to use the track.

Revenue sharing usage requirements

Videos that use revenue sharing tracks from Creator Music must meet these usage requirements to be eligible to share revenue:

  • Track and video duration: Video uses an appropriate amount of the track in an appropriate length of video:
    • If the track is licensable, but you don’t want to buy a license, you can share revenue by using the track for less than 30 seconds in a video that's longer than 3 minutes.
    • If the track is not licensable, but is eligible for revenue sharing, you can share revenue by using as much of the track as you want in a video of any duration.
  • No monetization issues: Video can't have monetization issues, such as:
  • No live streams or Shorts: Video can't be a live stream or a Short. Learn about Shorts revenue sharing.
If usage requirements aren’t followed, your video could get a Content ID claim or a copyright removal request that could disable monetization or block your video.

Remember that usage requirements can change at the rights holders’ discretion. For example, after you upload a video that uses a revenue sharing track, the rights holder could later disable monetization for the track, which would disable monetization for your video. Changes to usage terms can apply in certain territories or all territories. 

Amount of song

Amount of song refers to how much of the track the rights holders are allowing to be used in a video.

For revenue sharing tracks , you can use as much of the song as you want in a video of any duration.

For licensable tracks you don't want to buy a license for, you can instead choose to share revenue if the amount of song you use is less than 30 seconds in a video that's longer than 3 minutes. Learn more about revenue sharing.

Supported regions
Supported regions refers to the countries/territories where use of the track is eligible to earn revenue. A track is eligible to earn revenue in the countries/territories where the track's rights holders own the rights to the track and where they've chosen to make the track available for revenue sharing.
Certain tracks in Creator Music may only be available in certain countries/territories. If this is the case, you will see Restricted next to Supported regions on the track's usage details.
To see where your video is sharing revenue, check your video's revenue sharing status.
Video monetization

With Creator Music, if a long-form video uses tracks that are eligible for revenue sharing, the standard 55% revenue share is adjusted to cover the costs of clearing music rights as shown in the examples below. This depends on:

  • Number of tracks used: How many eligible revenue sharing tracks a creator uses in their video (see examples below).
  • Additional music rights costs: Deduction to cover additional music rights costs, such as performing rights. This deduction can be up to 5% and will reflect the blended cost of these additional music rights across Creator Music tracks that are eligible for revenue sharing.
Examples of revenue share calculations

Example: Use of 1 revenue sharing track

Example: Creator uses 1 revenue sharing track in their long-form video and earns half of the standard 55% revenue share (27.5%). As an example, the deduction for additional music rights costs could be 2.5%.

For this video, the creator would earn 25% of total revenue (27.5% - 2.5%).

 
Example: Use of 1 revenue sharing track
Example Revenue share: 55% ÷ 2 27.5%
Example Additional music rights costs - 2.5%
Example Total revenue 25%

Example: Use of 2 revenue sharing tracks and 1 licensed track

Example: Creator uses 2 revenue sharing tracks and 1 licensed track in their long-form video and earns 1/3 of the standard 55% revenue share (18.33%). As an example, the deduction for additional music rights costs could be 2%.

For this video, the creator would earn 16.33% of total revenue (18.33% - 2%).

 
Example: Use of 2 revenue sharing tracks and 1 licensed track
Example Revenue share: 55% ÷ 3 18.33%
Example Additional music rights costs - 2.5%
Example Total revenue 15.83%
Content type
Tracks available for licensing or revenue sharing through Creator Music can only be used in long-form videos, not Shorts or live streams. To learn more about sharing revenue on Shorts, go to Ad revenue with Shorts.

 

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