Rights clearance adjustments

Creators should have all the necessary rights to content they upload to YouTube, or have all the necessary legal permissions from the content’s rights holders. With Creator Music, eligible creators have access to a growing catalog of music to use in their long-form videos by licensing it or sharing revenue with the music’s rights holders. When licenses aren’t bought up front, eligible creators may be able to share revenue with the music’s rights holders instead.

To enable music revenue sharing, YouTube may clear additional music rights, such as performing rights, with the music's rights holders. The deduction from a creator’s revenue share to cover the cost of clearing additional music rights is a rights clearance adjustment.

When do rights clearance adjustments apply?

Rights clearance adjustments are dependent on the country/region where the rights are owned. Specifically, rights clearance adjustments apply only to the countries/regions where long-form videos earn revenue.

To see what songs qualify for revenue sharing, eligible creators can browse track usage details in Creator Music. Once a video is published, creators can use YouTube Studio to check the countries/regions where a video is sharing revenue.

Keep in mind: Rights clearance adjustments only apply to long-form videos, not live streams or Shorts. Learn more about monetization for live streams and Shorts.

What happens when rights clearance adjustments don't apply?

When the rights clearance adjustments detailed on this page don’t apply, but YouTube is made aware by one or more third parties that creators may not have obtained all necessary rights, then the affected content may need to be removed from YouTube and creators may not be eligible to receive revenue in relation to it. 

In particular, where one or more parties claim a portion of any content for monetization via the Content ID system, the revenues that would otherwise be due to the creator will be payable to the claiming party(ies). Where there is more than one claiming party, those revenues will be shared between them on a pro rata basis, with that pro rata share being determined by YouTube in its reasonable discretion. 

Learn more about Content ID claims.

How are rights clearance adjustments calculated?

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%

Can rights clearance adjustments be challenged?

If a creator has a valid reason to dispute a rights clearance adjustment, such as owning all the necessary rights to the content at issue, they may choose to dispute a Content ID claim.

Creators should make sure they understand what happens to monetization during Content ID disputes before a Content ID claim is disputed.

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