YouTube Operations Guide

Maintaining a healthy Content ID presence

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

Maintaining a healthy Content ID presence will ensure that the YouTube ecosystem runs as efficiently as possible. If you don’t maintain a healthy Content ID presence, you run the risk of account penalties, bad PR for your company, and time-consuming clean-up projects. Here, we’ll review some tips to make sure you are a responsible user of Content ID.

Very-Basic-Checked-checkbox-icon.png Deliver proper, distinct reference content.

  • You must have exclusive rights in one or more territories to the content that you are delivering. If we identify reference content as being potentially invalid and at risk of generating invalid claims we will surface this information to you in the Invalid Reference queue. Please monitor this queue closely and act accordingly in order to avoid invalid claims.

  • Keep in mind that content like the following is ineligible for Content ID:

    • Embedded third party footage
    • PD content
    • Non-exclusively licensed content
    • Sufficiently indistinct or soundalike content (like karaoke recordings or remasters)
    • Overly generic content
  • Learn more about what content is eligible for Content ID.

Very-Basic-Checked-checkbox-icon.png Reference content must be accompanied by proper asset metadata.

Uploaders must be given sufficient information to understand what content is being claimed and who the owner of that content is. For example:

  • All assets must include an informative title (e.g. not “Track 4” or an internal serial number).
  • Recorded music assets must also include artist and record label information.

Very-Basic-Checked-checkbox-icon.png Exclude parts of references with non-exclusive content.

You can deliver reference exclusions using either a CSV template or a DDEX feed.


Very-Basic-Checked-checkbox-icon.png Use custom match policies.

  • Set minimum match lengths or percentages.
  • Route claims for review to manually process potentially questionable matches.


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