Claiming Individual Videos: Policies and Best Practices

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

Content that is eligible for monetization 
Creators are responsible for meeting the Video Monetization Criteria, which include clearing all audio and visual rights to the content in their videos. Content that contains third-party material (including unlicensed music) is not eligible for monetization.

Policy: Claiming individual videos as a third party
You may not claim a video with intent to circumvent the video monetization criteria. This includes placing a “visual-only” claim on a creator’s video to share monetization revenue when the audio is claimed by a music partner. All third party material must be fully cleared and all the claims resolved in order for the video to be eligible for monetization. YouTube actively monitors partner claiming behavior in regard to this rule, and offenders can expect to have their claiming privileges disabled. 


I want to administer rights for a creator’s video. How can I determine if the content in the video is exclusively owned by the creator?

When entering into a contract to administer rights to a video, your company takes on full responsibility for the content and claims it now represents. Creating references with non-exclusively owned footage or audio is against YouTube Policy and leads to invalid claims; offenders are subject to feature disablement and/or termination. 

It is your company’s responsibility to first perform due diligence to verify the authenticity and exclusivity of the video you plan to represent.

You may wish to consider information such as:

  • Does the client have all rights to this footage, including any music or audio used?
  • Has the client given permission to anyone else to use this video?
  • Can the client provide evidence that this is their video? For example: the original file of the video, longer or in higher resolution than the version available online.
Both the audio and visual content in this video is 100% exclusively owned.  How do I enable Content ID matching for this material?

If the original video is hosted by a channel associated with your Content Manager, locate the original upload and enable Content ID Matching in the Monetization tab for that video. 

In some cases, a partner may agree to administer rights for an individual video, but not to the creator’s entire channel. In such cases, the partner may use the Manual Search tool to claim the creator’s original video and create a reference file from it. Partners who do not currently have access to Manual Search may contact their partner manager to discuss their eligibility. This sensitive feature must be earned, and can be removed at any time.

Note: Do not re-upload a copy of the original video to your own channel and create a reference file from that copy. Doing so may result in unnecessary Content ID matching errors, asset ownership conflicts, and delays in revenue attribution.


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