How Content ID works

Some copyright owners use Content ID, YouTube's automated content identification system, to easily identify and manage their copyright-protected content on YouTube.

Videos uploaded to YouTube are scanned against a database of audio and visual content that's been submitted to YouTube by copyright owners. 

When Content ID finds a match, it applies a Content ID claim to the matching video. A Content ID claim results in one of the following actions, depending on the copyright owner's Content ID settings:

  • Blocks a video from being viewed
  • Monetizes the video by running ads against it and sometimes sharing revenue with the uploader
  • Tracks the video’s viewership statistics

Keep in mind that any of these actions can be geography-specific. For example, a video can be monetized in one country/region and blocked or tracked in a different country/region.

YouTube only grants Content ID to copyright owners who meet specific criteria. To be approved, they must own exclusive rights to a substantial body of original material that is frequently uploaded to YouTube.

YouTube also sets explicit guidelines on how to use Content ID. We monitor Content ID use and disputes on an ongoing basis to make sure these guidelines are followed. Copyright owners who repeatedly make erroneous claims can have their Content ID access disabled and their partnership with YouTube terminated.

If you're a copyright owner and believe your content meets the criteria for Content ID, you can fill out this form to let us know more about your copyright management needs.

Related topics

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center