YouTube Operations Guide


The features described in this article are available only to partners who use YouTube's Content ID matching system.

A claim is what links a video to a particular asset, and allows asset owner(s) to set a policy (monetize, track, block) to a video uploaded on YouTube.

It’s very important that all of your videos are claimed correctly. If you inadvertently claim videos you don't own, you could potentially cause issues for both video creators and yourself.

The following are some precautions you can take to avoid over-claiming:

  • Reference exclusions

    • You must have exclusive rights to all content you enable for Content ID matching. Be sure to carve out portions of reference files you don't own. Refer to the To Do section of this playbook for more information on this.
  • Custom match policies

    • Creating custom policies allows for more granular control over the content you claim. Set minimum thresholds or other parameters (for example, if the amount of the user’s video that matches your asset is more than 60 seconds, then monetize).

  • Manual review

    • You have the option to personally review each claim for quality checks. In your custom policy, check the box to route certain threshold or types of claims for manual review. These then appear in your To Dos queue under "Potential Claims."
    • Content that may include bits of third-party content is a good example of when you should route the claim for manual review. 
  • Clean-up

    • It’s a good idea to have someone at your company regularly clean up any potential old mistaken claims.
    • For review, see how to efficiently and thoroughly clean up mistaken claims.
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