Can YouTube Audio Library Be Used On Instagram?


Can YouTube Audio Library Be Used On Instagram?

YouTube goes to great lengths to ensure it doesn’t run afoul of any copyright laws, and those lengths include providing an entire audio library for YouTubers to use in their content so they don’t need to use copyrighted music.

But how generous is the terms and licensing on YouTube’s music library? For instance, can YouTube audio library be used on Instagram? What about Facebook? TikTok? Or even just your own independent movie project?

We’re going to dive into this topic in more detail, of course, but the short answer is yes, you can use YouTube Audio Library files on Instagram, as well as other platforms. But, as always, there is a little more to know before you go grabbing all the music.

What is YouTube Audio Library?

YouTube Audio Library is a collection of audio spanning several genres and types of music. It is accessible to YouTube users only, though the licenses on the files are creative commons, meaning they are free to use, you just need access to YouTube Studio to get to them. And, of course, there is no cost to open a YouTube account and get access to YouTube Studio.

In the past, YouTube Audio Library was a separate part of YouTube that could be accessed publicly, but it was moved into YouTube Studio relatively recently.

The audio available in YouTube Audio Library can be filtered by several aspects, including length, genre, mood, and whether attribution is required. You can play the audio directly from YouTube Audio Library, so you don’t need to download it to decide if it is right for the content you are making.

Can YouTube Audio Library Be Used On Instagram? 1

YouTube Audio Library Licensing

Now we get to the meat of this topic—the licensing of the audio you can find in this library. As of right now, all of the audio is licensed under Creative Commons, meaning it is free to use for any personal or commercial endeavour. There are two flavours of Creative Commons license available; non-attribution and attribution required.

These are pretty self-explanatory, but the attribution on attribution required audio is the only requirement—you can still use the audio however you see fit. Of course, you are free to give attribution on the non-attribution audio as well, but you are not required to.

It should be noted that YouTube can make changes to their services at any time, so it is always worth making sure that the audio you are choosing is clearly stated to be Creative Commons licensed. It is well within the realm of possibility that YouTube could start adding audio that is specifically licensed for use on YouTube only. Should this happen, it’s worth taking an extra second to verify the audio you’re using is freely licensed to avoid getting in legal trouble with YouTube.

Using YouTube Audio Library on Instagram

Being legally allowed to use the audio in YouTube’s Audio Library on Instagram is one thing, but how do you actually go about it? Well, in 2021, it’s probably not as easy as you might have expected.

Instagram does have a feature for adding music to videos… if those videos are Stories (Instagram’s version of Snaps or YouTube Shorts). The music sticker allows you to simply drop the sticker onto your story, pick the song and section, and away you go. Unfortunately, you can only choose from the selection of music Instagram provides.

The music available here is all licensed copyrighted music of the sort you would expect to hear on the radio, not Creative Commons audio from YouTube Audio Library. If you want to overlay Adele’s Someone Like You over your short video, that’s fine, but if you found something on YouTube Audio Library that you really like and want to use, you’re going to have to bring in some video editing software.

What that video editing software is will largely depend on what you’re comfortable with, but given that this post is primarily about using YouTube Audio Library with Instagram, it’s safe to say you’ll be looking for a mobile video editing app, rather than a fully-featured production suite for PC or Mac.

There are several free options available, of course, but just about all of them have restrictions that can only be removed if the app is paid for (or subscribed to in some cases). Some of the more common restrictions include having a watermark in the video and restrictions on how long the video can be. The good news is that these apps are rarely expensive to purchase the premium version of.

Some popular mobile video editing apps are;

  • KineMaster
  • Magisto
  • VivaVideo
  • Quik
  • FilmoraGo

Once you have a video editing app that you are comfortable with, simply head over to YouTube Studio and the YouTube Audio Library, find the audio you want to use, download it, and pull it into your editing app. From there you will have to refer to the instructions for using your specific app, but it should be relatively straightforward. After all, these are lightweight apps intended for making quick edits, not professional editing suites intended for making cinematic masterpieces in!

Final Thoughts

This post focuses on Instagram because Instagram is probably the most common platform for this kind of activity (after YouTube itself, of course), but the same rules apply elsewhere. The audio in YouTube’s Audio Library is freely available to use as you please (assuming the chosen audio is licensed under Creative Commons, as mentioned above), and that means you can use it anywhere.

Incidentally, if you are interested in learning more about Creative Commons, follow this link to their website, which has a wealth of information and news about it. It never hurts to understand more about the licenses you are relying on when creating content.

If you benefit from the music found on YouTube Audio Library, it may be good karma (if you believe in that) to throw a little attribution the way of the audio’s creator even if it wasn’t a requirement in the first place.

Then again, maybe you’re not looking to get freely licensed music out of YouTube, maybe you want to get copyrighted music into YouTube…

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By Alan Spicer - YouTube Certified Expert

UK Based - YouTube Certified Expert Alan Spicer is a YouTube and Social Media consultant with over 15 years of knowledge within web design, community building, content creation and YouTube channel building.

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