Okay, as a follow-up to my previous post about removing tracks from all platforms, I think it’s also worth discussing YouTube Content ID and how it can help you sell more beats and protect your work from unauthorized use.

What exactly is a YouTube Content ID?

But first, let’s get a basic idea of what Content ID is. As you might guess from the name, it is a content identification system that allows creators to track the usage of their work. If you upload a song by a major artist to YouTube, YouTube will identify exactly which song it is, and all monetization from your video will go to the artist. That’s Content ID in action.

In addition to YouTube, other platforms have systems similar to Content ID. TikTok, for example, uses a similar system to know what music you used in your video. In this article, we will only talk about YouTube Content ID and how it applies to selling beats.

As a music producer, how can you benefit from Content ID?

There are a number of ways a music producer can use CID in their work:

  • Monetize free beats: If you’re giving away your beats for free, Content ID allows you to monetize videos where they’re being used, making them not so free for you;
  • Protect your paid beats: Content ID allows you to see which YouTube videos your music has been used in. With this information, you can take action against those who use your beats without a license;
  • Monetize views on your channel: By adding your beats to CID, you’re in fact enabling monetization on your channel, bypassing Google’s partnership program requirements. With your beats in Content ID, you can earn from views even with zero subscribers on your channel. Just don’t whitelist your channel, so it can receive CID claims.

What are the Content ID requirements for beats?

There is a list of requirements for the content to be submitted to the CID, but the most important one for us as music producers is exclusivity. Everything you submit to the Content ID must be 100% yours and have the right to be there. This means that you definitely cannot upload beats with uncleared samples to ContentID. Moreover, even beats with royalty-free loops may not pass (but there are nuances).

If an artist leases my beat, can their song be added to the CID?

Given the above, an artist who has leased your beat will not be able to register the song in Content ID because they do not have exclusive rights to your beat. Moreover, your beat licensing agreement also prevents this. For example, when buying a beat on BeatStars, the buyer agrees not to register their song in any content identification systems. This is specified in the default license agreement on BeatStars:


The purpose of this restriction is to prevent you from receiving a copyright infringement takedown notice from a third party who also received a non-exclusive license to use the Beat in a New Song. The Beat has already been tagged for Content Identification (as that term is used in the music industry) by Producer as a pre-emptive measure to protect all interested parties in the New Song. If you do not adhere to this policy, you are in violation of the terms of this License and your license to use the Beat and/or New Song may be revoked without notice or compensation to you.

So if an artist who bought a non-exclusive license to your beat submits the song to Content ID, they’re in violation of the license agreement and you have the right to remove their song from Content ID and streaming platforms.

Should I register my beats in YouTube Content ID?

If you’re selling beats online, that doesn’t mean you have to add them to the YouTube Content ID database. But if you don’t, someone else might, either intentionally or by mistake. I guarantee that sooner or later you’ll get a YouTube notification that your own beat violates the copyright of some random dude, and you’ll have to deal with it.

Okay, how can I add my beats to ContentID?

Most audio distribution services offer ContentID integration. However, artists often use TuneCore because it’s free and allows you to add your song to all content identification systems at no cost. I can’t say much about TuneCore because I haven’t used it myself, so for music producers I recommend using Airbit. As I said in my article comparing beat selling platforms, the ContentID integration is a unique feature of Airbit and no other beat marketplace currently offers this.

airbit content id

To use this feature on Airbit, you need to have a Platinum subscription ($19.99 per month) and at least 10 beats in your account so moderators can decide if they’re good enough to be in the system.

Not-so-ethical fact: Although only Platinum subscribers can submit their beats to YouTube Content ID, that doesn’t mean your beats are only available to CID if your subscription is active. You can subscribe when needed and batch-upload your beats, and then cancel your subscription. This will not affect your payments or anything else.

By the way, when you join Airbit using this link, you’ll receive $20 worth of promo credits (or $120 if you sign up for an annual subscription). Just saying 🙂

What happens if someone uses my beat that has been registered with Content ID?

If CID detects that someone is using your music in their video, a notification will appear in your Airbit dashboard. You can either do nothing (and the monetization from ads on that video will go to you), or you can release the claim (and allow the creator of the video to receive monetization if they have it enabled on their channel).

A Content ID claim simply notifies the creator of the video that they’re using copyrighted content. It’s not a strike, so it doesn’t restrict the video’s distribution; it just redirects the ad revenue to your pocket. The video creator can easily dispute the claim if they have a license agreement.

Can I monetize my loops with YouTube ContentID?

I don’t think so. Although Google’s requirements state that content created specifically for licensing and use as part of another work can be submitted for review, Airbit specifically prohibits this. You can add beats made from your own loops to the Content ID, but you can’t use it to collect monetization from other beats that contain your loop. If Airbit finds that most of your claims come from other beats, your content will be removed from the CID database.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *