A few months ago we registered our demo EP that was released in 2016 with YouTube’s ContentID system. ContentID was something I had heard about in the past but didn’t think much of it because we haven’t released very much content yet, nor did I think our music was being used on other YouTube channels.

Well to my surprise, that wasn’t true at all. Since registering our music, YouTube has flagged over 1,000 videos on YouTube that use one of the six songs from our demo. That really blew me away, I had no idea.

You can bet that our upcoming Spring of Fire album will be registered on ContentID from day 1 this time!

What is YouTube’s ContentID System?

If you don’t know about it, ContentID is an advanced, automatic detection system YouTube has developed, and it scans every video uploaded for material that has been registered with the system. So in our case, that is the sound of our music. And the system is robust enough to detect music even if it’s playing muffled, in the background and can barely be heard. I’ve seen some videos with our music on it where the sound of water and other ambient noise almost completely blocks the sound of the music and ContentID will still catch it!

It’s great for video content creators because they can use our music for small projects without needing to get and pay for a license, and great for us, because YouTube shares a portion of the revenue with us from videos that use our music.

Some music labels don’t like allowing people to use their music and YouTube gives the option for an automatic takedown when their system detects copyrighted music being used. But for us, it’s definitely okay. 🙂

Obviously, for budgeted commercial and other media projects, it’s a different story with needing a music license, but user generated content generally doesn’t fall under that. We work with a few sync licensors that pitch our songs to clients for licensing which is a whole different field!

Weddings and everything else

The videos on YouTube that ContentID has detected using our music includes tons and tons of wedding videos, but also some of the most random videos you can think of.

Bike races, irrigation training videos, Japan anime, a baby kung-fu commercial, menu advertising video for some Pakistani restaurant, conspiracy videos (those are fun to watch!), recaps of TV shows, mother’s day videos, funny animals, the list of total randomness goes on and on.

Here is just a small sample of some of the videos we liked:

  • Baby gender reveal with a family – video – 2.5 million views!
  • India wedding – video.
  • Don’t even know how to describe this – video
  • A promo video for a Japanese University – video – the editing on this one was kind of funny.

This month there are now over a thousand registered videos on YouTube using 92 Keys music and more are being registered each day.

What YouTube's ContentID displays when a video uses 92 Keys music

What YouTube’s ContentID displays when a video uses 92 Keys music

What about Facebook?

Facebook has been on a warpath to compete with YouTube for video distribution. I found out recently with someone I was chatting with at Songtrust that Facebook recently settled a suit with the music industry and they have asked for two years to develop their own ContentID system that will be similar to YouTube’s. It probably won’t be called ContentID but it will do practically the same thing.

That will be interesting once they get it up and running because I’ve come across several videos already that use 92 Keys music, so I’ll be curious to get a full report when it’s available. The system will allegedly be up and running in the Spring of 2020, but with elements coming online before then.

Songtrust and PROs

As a side note to Songtrust mentioned above, we just registered with them in May. With our Spring of Fire album releasing soon, there are a few original songs on it, so it felt like it was time to get registered with a Performing Rights Society (PRO). Here in the U.S. we registered with ASCAP but what Songtrust does, and what the real meat of their value proposition is, is they collect from 45 PROs worldwide and do all the registration and royalty collection with them so it’s not something we have to hassle with. Very convenient.

With PROs you can only register original music that you create or covers of songs that are in public domain. So for example, our Little Star cover was able to be registered since Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a public domain song.

That concludes today’s lesson!