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Structuring the content feed file

The YouTube XML format is being replaced by DDEX (music only) and CSV templates (all industries). YouTube strongly discourages any new implementations of the YouTube XML format. This page should be used solely as reference material for existing implementations. Visit Using the YouTube DDEX feed for more information about the new format.
The features described in this article are available only to partners who use YouTube's Content Manager to manage their copyrighted content.

The YouTube content feed format provides a means of creating or updating your content and policies in the YouTube rights administration system. It is an XML-based format.

The content feed XML file provides instructions for a YouTube upload. In most cases, you upload the XML file along with the digital media files for a new or existing asset. A content feed XML file can provide data for up to 100 assets (and a maximum size of 1 Mb), although we recommend creating separate XML files for each asset.

A YouTube content feed consists of a top-level <feed> element that contains one or more of the child elements listed below. You use the <relationship> tag to associate two or more items in the feed; for example, you define a relationship between an <asset> and a <file> to create a reference. Each of the feed components listed below is used in one or more different types of relationships; see Defining relationships for details.

  • An <asset> tag contains metadata that identifies and describes an asset.

  • A <file> tag contains the location of a file to use as a reference and, possibly, a video as well. You create a reference by defining a relationship between a <file> and an <asset>; see Creating references for details.

  • A <reference> tag updates a previously created reference.

  • A <video> tag creates or updates a YouTube video. A video is associated with exactly one reference file, but a reference file is not always associated with a video.

  • A <claim> tag links an uploaded video to an asset that the video matches. It also identifies a rights administrator who controls the asset and the policy that the administrator wants to enforce for the asset. Finally, the claim indicates whether the administrator is claiming the audio, visual, or audiovisual portion of the video's content.

  • An <ownership> tag contains information about the owner(s) of an asset or group of assets. This tag also contains other ownership data, such as the percentage of the asset that is owned and the territories where the asset is owned. For compositions, each <owner> tag identifies the name of a publisher administering rights for the composition in the United States.

  • A <rights_admin> tag is required to set a policy for an asset. It indicates whether an associated policy applies to partner-uploaded assets or the user-uploaded videos that match those assets.

  • A <rights_policy> tag contains rules that explain how a rights holder administers an asset. Rules are comprised of match conditions and watch conditions that specify the circumstances under which a rights owner wants its content to be available on YouTube or blocked from appearing on YouTube.

  • The <audioswap> tag is used to identify files that will be included in the AudioSwap program. This tag, which is only used if you are including sound recordings in YouTube's AudioSwap program, only needs to appear once in each feed.

  • A <video_breaks> tag contains a list of times when mid-roll, in-stream ads could run during a specific video. You must specify video breaks for a video if you want to run mid-roll ads for a video.

    If you are using YouTube's partner ad serving feature, which lets you use a third-party ad server to forecast, sell, traffic and report on in-stream ads, the <video_breaks> tag will also identify the third-party platform and provide ad targeting information for each ad break.

  • A <content_rating> tag contains information that can be used to categorize the content of a video in the absence of an official rating, such as a Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating. If an episode or movie asset does have an official rating, you can use the <rating> tag, which is a subtag of <asset>, to specify that rating.

  • An <ad_policy> tag contains settings that identify the types of ads that can be shown during a video or on a channel or video watch page. You can apply the settings to one or more videos.

  • A <playlist> tag contains information about a playlist that you want to create, update, or delete. There are several ways to update a playlist, including changing the playlist's name, adding videos to the playlist, and removing videos from the playlist.

  • A <channel> tag sets the custom layout for a channel's Browse view, which organizes channel content into customized sections that display videos from particular playlists or based on channel usage.

  • A <relationship> tag creates an association between two or more items in the feed. Each of the feed components listed above is used in one or more different types of relationships.

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