Exclude parts of your references

These features are only available to partners who use YouTube Studio Content Manager.
You must have exclusive rights to the references for which you turn on Content ID matching. If your reference includes content you don’t own the rights to, you need to exclude those segments from Content ID match consideration. Examples could include:

You can exclude segments from your references using Studio Content Manager or content delivery templates.


  • If you exclude a segment from an existing video, YouTube will automatically release any claims made based on the excluded segment.
  • Only the reference provider can exclude segments from a reference file.
    • If the provider is no longer an owner of the asset, another owner can exclude segments.
    • If an asset has two or more owners, you may need to work with another owner if you can’t exclude segments.

Use Studio Content Manager to exclude segments

If you uploaded a reference that includes content you don’t own the rights to, you can exclude the segments using Studio Content Manager:

  1. Sign in to Studio Content Manager.
  2. From the left menu, select Assets .
  3. Click the title of the asset you’d like to update.
    • Note: You can only exclude segments from assets with one or more active references.
  4. On the Asset details page, click References  from the left menu.
  5. Click the row of the reference you’d like to update.
  6. Under Existing and pending exclusions, click EDIT.
  8. Enter the timestamps of the segment you want to exclude from the reference.
    • To view the segment that starts and ends at the timestamps you entered, click the play icon .
    • To exclude other segments, click ADD ADDITIONAL EXCLUSION again and enter the timestamps.
  9. When you’re done adding exclusions, click SAVE.
Some excluded segments may still generate reference overlaps or cause the reference to be marked as potentially invalid. Learn more about resolving reference overlaps and validating potentially invalid references.

Use content delivery templates to exclude segments

When delivering reference files using spreadsheet templates, you can add reference exclusion intervals to specify what segments YouTube should exclude when Content ID matching.

In the spreadsheet template, in the column labeled reference_exclusions, enter the time interval in the format MM:SS-MM:SS. For example, “00:00-00:10” indicates the first 10 seconds of the reference should be ignored during Content ID matching.

To exclude more than one segment, use a pipe character ('|') to separate each time interval.

Propagated exclusions

If you deliver a reference that’s identical to a reference you’ve already delivered, reference exclusions (overlaps and manually created exclusions) are automatically copied from the existing reference to the new duplicate reference.

These exclusions, known as “propagated exclusions”, also get copied from the new duplicate reference to the existing reference. In both cases, the exclusions are propagated only if duplicate references are delivered on the same asset as the existing reference.
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