If you’re considering starting a podcast, YouTube offers a unique platform to host your content. With its rich ecosystem of creators and users, YouTube provides a fantastic opportunity for your podcast to be discovered by new audiences.
Additionally, the platform’s recent support for podcasts and its integration with YouTube Music mean that your podcast can be easily found and enjoyed by listeners across different platforms.
What is a Podcast on YouTube?
On YouTube, a podcast is structured as a playlist, with each podcast episode represented as a video within that playlist. Full-length episodes should be organized in the order in which they should be consumed. If your podcast has multiple seasons, they should all be included in the same playlist.
Benefits of Podcasting on YouTube
When you create a podcast on YouTube, you can enjoy several perks including:
Inclusion in YouTube Music
Podcast badges on watch and playlist pages
A spotlight on youtube.com/podcasts to attract new listeners
Official Search cards
Easy discovery from the watch page to help listeners find your episodes
Recommendations to new listeners with similar interests
Improved search features to help your audience find your podcast
However, please note that some playlists may not be eligible for podcast features, even if they are designated as podcasts. This can occur if the content isn’t owned by the creator, for example.
How to Start a New Podcast on YouTube
Creating a new podcast on YouTube is simple and straightforward:
Within YouTube Studio, click Create, and then select New podcast.
From the pop-up, select Create a new podcast.
Enter your podcast details, including the podcast title, description, visibility (public or private), and a square podcast thumbnail.
Click Create to save your new podcast
Remember that each podcast episode on YouTube is represented by a video. MP3s can’t be turned into podcasts on YouTube. To create a podcast, upload or add videos to your podcast’s playlist
Adding Episodes to Your Podcast
You can add episodes to your podcast by either uploading new videos or adding existing videos:
Within YouTube Studio, go to Content, then Podcasts.
Select your podcast.
Click Add videos, then either Upload videos (for new videos) or Add your existing videos (for existing videos).
For new videos, upload the videos that you’d like to add to your podcast and enter the video details. Click Create to save changes.
For existing videos, select the videos that you want to add to your podcast. Click Add to playlist and select your podcast from the list. Click Save to add videos to your podcast
Other Useful Features
Setting an Existing Playlist as a Podcast
If you have an existing playlist that you’d like to designate as a podcast, you can do so by:
Within YouTube Studio, go to Content, then Playlists.
Hover over the playlist that you want to designate as a podcast.
Click Menu, then Set as podcast.
Review your podcast’s details and add a square podcast thumbnail. Podcast details include title, description, and who can view your podcast on YouTube.
Click Done to confirm your changes
Editing the Order of Episodes
To edit the order in which your episodes are consumed, reorder them within your podcast playlist:
Within YouTube Studio, go to Content, then Podcasts.
Click Edit on the podcast that you’d like to update.
From the podcast details page
I’m sorry, I couldn’t find any information about a feature to automatically order podcast episodes by release date on YouTube. It appears that the default order of episodes within a podcast playlist needs to be manually set in the YouTube Studio.
Here’s how to do that:
Within YouTube Studio, go to Content and then Podcasts.
Click Edit on the podcast that you’d like to update.
From the podcast details page, click on the Default video order menu and choose how you want your videos to be sorted.
Click Save in the upper right-hand corner to confirm the changes
The following tables showcase the growth and adoption of podcasts:
Table 1: Growth of Podcast Listeners (United States)
YouTube Premium is a subscription-based service offered by YouTube, allowing users to enjoy an ad-free viewing experience, access exclusive content, and benefit from additional features such as offline playback and background play.
The short answer – How much is youtube premium? – YouTube Premium costs $11.99/month in the US, offering ad-free viewing, offline playback, background play, and access to YouTube Originals. Pricing may vary in other countries.
In this article, we will delve into the regional pricing of YouTube Premium, discuss key statistics related to its performance, and compare it to other rival streaming services.
YouTube Premium Features
Ad-free viewing experience
Eliminates ads across all videos, providing a seamless experience
Access to exclusive content such as series, movies, and documentaries
YouTube Music Premium
Ad-free listening and offline playback on the YouTube Music app
Offline playback and background play
Download videos for offline viewing and play videos in the background while using other apps or with the screen off
YouTube Premium Regional Pricing
It’s essential to note that the perceived value and affordability of YouTube Premium can vary due to currency conversion rates and differences in purchasing power across regions.
YouTube Premium Key Stats and Metrics
Number of YouTube Premium subscribers
Over 30 million
Over 60% increase
Over $1.6 billion
150 minutes of content/day
Annual retention rate
YouTube Premium vs Rival Streaming Services
In this section, we will compare YouTube Premium to other streaming services, focusing on pricing, content libraries, and user experience.
The services we will compare include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify (for music streaming), and Apple Music (for music streaming).
Streaming Services Pricing Comparison
Basic Plan Price
Amazon Prime Video
Please note that pricing may vary depending on the region.
Deciding if YouTube Premium is worth it:
Think about your YouTube habits: how often you watch, your patience for ads, and if you need offline or background play.
Evaluate YouTube Originals: how much you like exclusive content and how it compares to other platforms.
Tailoring your streaming choices:
Find a balance with other services: consider your budget and the content you prefer.
Look at free options: try ad-supported YouTube and free music sources.
Make a smart decision: consider your unique needs and re-evaluate as things change.
Q: How much does YouTube Premium cost per month?
A: YouTube Premium costs $11.99/month in the US, offering an ad-free experience, offline playback, background play, and access to YouTube Originals. Pricing may vary in other countries.
A: Yes, YouTube Premium offers a family plan for $17.99/month in the US, which allows up to 6 family members (aged 13+) living in the same household to enjoy its benefits.
Q: Are there any discounts for students on YouTube Premium?
A: Yes, eligible students can subscribe to YouTube Premium at a discounted rate of $6.99/month in the US. A valid student ID and enrolment verification are required.
Q: How can I try YouTube Premium for free?
A: YouTube offers a 1-month free trial for new users to try out YouTube Premium. After the trial period, users will be charged the standard monthly fee unless they cancel the subscription.
Q: Can I access YouTube Music with YouTube Premium?
A: Yes, a YouTube Premium subscription includes access to YouTube Music Premium, allowing ad-free music streaming, offline playback, and background listening.
Q: How does YouTube Premium’s cost compare to other streaming services?
A: YouTube Premium’s cost is competitive with other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, while offering unique features such as ad-free YouTube viewing, offline video playback, and background play.
Q: Is YouTube Premium available worldwide?
A: YouTube Premium is available in many countries, but its availability and pricing may vary. Visit the YouTube Premium page to check availability and pricing in your region.
Q: Can I cancel my YouTube Premium subscription anytime?
A: Yes, you can cancel your YouTube Premium subscription at any time. Upon cancellation, you will retain access to Premium features until the end of your billing cycle.
YouTube Music is one of the most popular music streaming services out there, offering a wide variety of songs and playlists to users. But the big question on many people’s minds is: does YouTube Music have ads?
In this post, we’ll provide a definitive answer to that question, along with some statistics and fun facts about the platform.
The Answer: Yes, YouTube Music Has Ads
Unfortunately, the answer to whether or not YouTube Music has ads is yes. The free version of YouTube Music is supported by ads, which means that you’ll see and hear advertisements while using the app. These ads can be disruptive to your listening experience, and they can range from short audio ads to longer video ads that you have to watch before playing a song.
How to Get an Ad-Free Listening Experience on YouTube Music
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to deal with ads while listening to music, there is a solution. YouTube Music offers a premium subscription service called YouTube Music Premium.
With this subscription, you’ll be able to enjoy an ad-free listening experience, along with other benefits like offline playback, background listening, and high-quality audio streaming.
YouTube Premium Subscribers Also Get Ad-Free Access to YouTube Music
If you’re already a subscriber to YouTube Premium, then you’re in luck! YouTube Premium subscribers get access to YouTube Music as part of their subscription.
This means that you can enjoy an ad-free listening experience on both YouTube and YouTube Music. Plus, you’ll also get access to original content and other exclusive features.
Number of songs available on YouTube Music
Over 70 million
Number of monthly active users on YouTube Music
Over 30 million
Number of YouTube Music subscribers
Over 50 million
Percentage of YouTube Music users who use the free version
Number of minutes of music streamed daily on YouTube Music
250 million minutes
Number of countries where YouTube Music is available
Over 100 countries
Percentage of YouTube Music usage that comes from mobile devices
Amount of time YouTube Music users spend on the app per session
Over 60 minutes
Here are some stats on YouTube Music’s ads:
Length of audio ads on YouTube Music
Length of video ads on YouTube Music
Percentage of YouTube Music’s revenue that comes from ads
Percentage of YouTube Music’s ad impressions that come from mobile devices
These stats give a glimpse into the popularity and usage of YouTube Music, as well as the prevalence of ads on the platform.
Fun Facts About YouTube Music
To wrap up this post, let’s end with some fun facts about YouTube Music:
YouTube Music has over 50 million songs available to stream.
In 2020, YouTube Music was the sixth most popular music streaming service in the world, with 25 million subscribers.
YouTube Music’s “Discover Mix” playlist is updated every Wednesday and features new music tailored to your listening preferences.
The most-streamed song on YouTube Music as of 2021 is “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran, with over 6 billion views.
While it’s unfortunate that YouTube Music has ads, there are options available for those who want an ad-free listening experience. By subscribing to YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium, you can enjoy uninterrupted listening and other exclusive features.
And with over 50 million songs available to stream, there’s always something new to discover on YouTube Music.
Q: How often do ads appear on YouTube Music?
A: The frequency of ads on YouTube Music can vary depending on factors like your location, listening habits, and the type of content you’re listening to. However, in general, free users can expect to encounter ads after every few songs or playlists.
Q: What types of ads appear on YouTube Music?
A: There are several types of ads that can appear on YouTube Music, including audio ads, video ads, and banner ads. Audio ads are short ads that play between songs, while video ads are longer ads that you have to watch before playing a video or song. Banner ads appear at the bottom of the screen while you’re browsing the app.
Q: How long are the ads on YouTube Music?
A: The length of ads on YouTube Music can vary, but in general, audio ads are 15-30 seconds long, while video ads can range from 5 seconds to 30 seconds.
Q: Can I skip ads on YouTube Music? A: Free users cannot skip ads on YouTube Music. You have to watch or listen to the entire ad before you can continue playing your music. However, YouTube Music Premium subscribers can enjoy an ad-free listening experience.
Q: How do ads on YouTube Music impact the user experience?
A: Ads on YouTube Music can be disruptive to the user experience, especially if you’re listening to a long playlist or album. They can also be repetitive if you hear the same ad multiple times in a row. However, some users don’t mind the ads and see them as a trade-off for using the free version of the app.
Q: Can I target specific audiences with ads on YouTube Music?
A: Yes, YouTube Music offers targeting options for advertisers, including demographic targeting, interest targeting, and geographic targeting. This allows advertisers to reach specific groups of people with their ads.
Q: How much do ads on YouTube Music cost for advertisers?
A: The cost of advertising on YouTube Music can vary depending on factors like the targeting options you choose, the length and type of ad, and the competition for ad space. However, on average, the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) for YouTube Music ads is around $8-$10.
Q: Can I create my own ads for YouTube Music?
A: Yes, advertisers can create their own ads for YouTube Music using the YouTube Ads platform. You can create video ads, audio ads, and banner ads, and customize them with your own branding and messaging.
Q: How effective are ads on YouTube Music at driving conversions?
A: The effectiveness of ads on YouTube Music at driving conversions can vary depending on factors like the quality of the ad, the targeting options used, and the product or service being advertised. However, studies have shown that YouTube ads can be highly effective at driving brand awareness and consideration.
Covering popular songs is an excellent way for musicians to gain exposure through YouTube.
The popularity of the song can draw people into your channel where you can show off your talent, skill, and, hopefully, your unique style.
Unfortunately, copyright is a serious roadblock to monetising this kind of content.
The music industry has been and still is one of the most aggressive industries when it comes to protecting their intellectual property, which has led to some less-than-fair policies being put in place by YouTube in order to mollify record labels. Policies such as granting copyright owners the ability to claim ad revenue from your video, even if the video contains more than just their music.
This may save YouTube a great deal of expense compared to paying people to hunt through an absurd amount of video, but it can lead to problems for cover artists, such as Seth Everman’s cover of Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy. As Seth’s pinned comment states, the cover was instantly flagged for copyright despite being made using household items such as couch cushions and pots and pans.
So how, then, do you go about monetising this kind of content? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways, so read to discover how to make money doing covers on YouTube.
Before getting into how you can make money doing covers on YouTube, it is important to have a basic grasp of the legalities of cover songs. We say “basic” because we’re not going to attempt to explain actual law to you—this is a YouTube blog, and there are no lawyers here.
The long and short of it is that in order to legally make money from a cover song, you would have to have agreements in place with the songwriters and publishers, and the licenses you would gain from this would almost certainly require you to pay royalty fees.
This may be fine for an established musician who is going to release a cover song through traditional channels, but it is not exactly practical for a small YouTube musician who is just looking for a little added exposure, or merely wants to cover their favourite song.
YouTube have mechanisms in place to remove the need for every YouTube cover to have an individual licensing agreement in place in the form their Content ID system, but this doesn’t help with monetisation and, depending on the rights holder, can result in your video being blocked in certain countries—or blocked altogether.
So, now we’ve told you why you can’t make money from covers on YouTube, let’s get into how you can make money from covers on YouTube.
YouTube Partner Programme
Here’s the good news; the YouTube Partner Programme has provisions for cover songs that allow you to share revenue easily between you and the relevant entities with little more than a few clicks.
The bad news? This only applies to songs that are part of an agreement with rights holders to enable this kind of thing.
Now, granted, there are a lot of songs included in these deals, with plenty of popular songs and current hits among them. But it is not everything, and you may find yourself wanting to cover something that is not part of YouTube’s deal and thus cannot be monetised in this way.
For the songs that are part of the deal, you will be able to share the revenue with the rights holders, and you will get be paid on a pro-rata basis.
This is one example of how to make money doing covers on YouTube, but it is not exactly a reliable method, and even when it works, you are getting a reduced percentage of YouTube revenue, which has already gained a reputation as a less-than-stellar way to get paid for your time.
The actual rate you get paid may vary, but you shouldn’t expect to see more than 40% of the revenue your videos generate. So let’s look at other ways you can earn money from your cover songs.
Promote Original Music
It will likely seem obvious to many YouTube cover artists since a lot of you will have gotten into cover songs as a means to bring attention to your channel and promote your own songs. This very method is one of the best ways you can parlay your cover song success into YouTube revenue.
Be sure to put your own spin on the covers you perform, however.
The goal is to draw people in with your unique style and take on the song, and then providing your viewers with a call to action like, “If you like this, why not check out my original song…”, and it will be considerably less effective if your original songs are entirely different in tone and style to your cover songs.
There is no barrier to monetising original content, so you are free to monetise an original song through YouTube’s Partner Programme, get sponsors, or do anything else you would be free to do with your own intellectual property.
Promote Live Performances
In much the same way your cover songs can be used to promote your original music, they can also be used as a means of getting eyeballs on any upcoming shows you are playing.
It is common for established musicians to make a substantial portion of their income from live performances, so it will likely be something a serious musician will want to get into regardless—especially since live performances can make up almost all of your income as a musician just getting started.
If you go to the trouble of creating a cover song for YouTube, don’t feel like you have to limit it to just that platform. There are many outlets to sell music digitally these days, without the need for recording deals or record labels. If you make a popular cover, giving viewers the option to buy the song or listen to it on other revenue-generating platforms like Spotify and iTunes is a great way to earn some extra money.
Of course, the issues with licensing and ownership are still there, and we would not recommend you just putting a song out there without ensuring you go through the proper channels. Fortunately, there are plenty of music distribution services out there for small artists, and many of them have provisions set up for cover songs, meaning you can release them entirely legally.
Every platform is different, and this is a YouTube blog, so rather than explaining the process, here are a few of the top music distribution platforms that allow you to release cover songs to services like Spotify.
This is an excellent method of earning money through YouTube regardless of what the actual content is because it serves not only as a revenue source but also as an endorsement of your channel.
Since people who contribute are actively choosing to do so, you will benefit from a dedicated fanbase who are more likely to want to support financially.
There are several ways to go about setting this up, with Patreon being the most prominent and popular example. There are also platforms like Ko-Fi, as well as simply accepting donations directly through a payment processor like PayPal.
If you decide to try this method of earning money from covers, consider giving incentives to your supporters. Such incentives can be as little as a thank you at the end of a video, or they can be as much as tickets to a live show, or merchandise included as a thank you.
It could also be early access to videos or exclusive content.
The point is that by providing supporters with something extra, you not only make them feel appreciated, but you incentivise others to support you as well.
Making Your Cover Videos
Knowing how to monetise your covers is a relatively small part of the battle. Before you worry about that, you should be working on giving your videos the best chance of success you possibly can.
Now, as far as the music goes, that’s all on you.
Music is a very subjective medium, and you will no doubt have your own style and genre preferences when you perform.
All you can do there is make the technically best version of whatever it is that you want to make.
But regarding the video itself, there are things you incorporate that will help you succeed as a YouTube cover artist.
Create Engaging Videos
While it is generally true that the content speaks for itself, it is not that simple with cover songs. It is not merely a matter of making great music and hoping that the quality will shine through because there are so many talented musicians making music on YouTube.
Consider including the lyrics in your video, possibly in a fun animated way, and at the very least shoot something with you playing the song.
You want viewers to connect with you, and they are unlikely to do that if they never see you.
There are only so many ways you can cover a song in a way that is still appealing to a large enough number of people. And, with the amount of YouTube musicians out there doing cover songs, the number of unique takes there are left for popular songs are starting to become a little scarce.
Of course, you can always cover less popular songs, but the problem there is that less popular music means less interest in your cover song.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your cover.
We mentioned Seth Everman’s Bad Guy video earlier on. Even though that particular cover was a comedic video, rather than a straight music video, it nevertheless generated a lot of interest for the unconventional way he played the song.
We’re not saying you should cover a song using furniture exclusively as your instrument, but looking for new and creative ways to make your cover videos is an excellent way to get noticed.
Another great example of this is Postmodern Jukebox, a channel that exclusively creates covers of contemporary songs in the style of classic genres from as far back as the early 1900s. Their videos feature a full band accompaniment with everyone dressed in the style of the era they are emulating and make for a fascinating watch.
Another example is mashups, where more than one song or style is brought together to create something new. A very popular example of this is 10 Second Songs, where the talented Anthony Vincent performs songs in the style of a variety of different artists.
Keep An Eye Out For Trends
Trend-chasing can feel a little “dirty” to some, but cover videos are an extremely competitive space, and it will take a lot of effort—and not a small amount of luck—to get established in this niche. By putting out your own take on a popular trend, you can bring new viewers to your channel.
And the good thing about this kind of viewer is they will have subscribed because they liked your take on the song, which means they are more likely to stick around.
Trends can come in many forms, such as old songs that inexplicably get a second life (see: Rick Rolling) or new viral hits that take the world by storm.
Whatever the trend, be sure to stay true to your unique style because ultimately, you want people to come to your channel for you, not a version of you that you put on once.
Music is a powerful tool in video editing. It can add emphasis, emotional impact, and generally change the whole tone of a scene or clip. There is a wealth of free music available, of course.
YouTube itself has a significant library of free-to-use music that you can choose from. But there are times when royalty-free music won’t do.
Whether you’re reviewing songs or you just need a particular song for your content, you’ll no doubt be aware of the minefield that is copyrighted music. You may even be aware of fair use, but don’t worry if you’re not; we’re going to get into all of that soon.
Most YouTubers are aware that you can’t just grab copyrighted music (or any content, for that matter) and put it in your video. At least, not without inevitable consequences. At best you will lose your ability to monetize that video, at worst you will get a copyright strike against your channel, and enough of those will lose your channel entirely!
So, how much of a song can you use on YouTube without copyright coming to bite you in the backside? – The short answer is none! You will need a buy a license to use popular tracks or will need to enter into revenue shares with some artists if they are part of the YouTube Audio Library. If you want music in your videos it is best to use royalty free services or make your own music.
The answer more honest answer is, it complicated – so if you’re with us, we’re about to dive a little deeper.
What is “Fair Use”?
As we’re about to get into a subject matter that strays a little close to legal advice, we must stress that is emphatically not legal advice.
Always seek the advice of a qualified law professional before doing anything that might potentially land you in legal trouble. Now, with that out of the way, let’s get into what fair use is.
Fair use is the name given to the use of copyrighted material in some instances where the use is limited or transformative. You may be wondering what “transformative” means, and you wouldn’t be alone. Inordinate amounts of money have been spent trying to find a clear definition of what constitutes transformative but to no avail.
Established examples of a transformative use of copyrighted material include commentary and criticism, such as news programs showing clips of something accompanied by commentary about that thing. Another example is parody videos.
There is a common myth or misunderstanding that you are allowed to use a certain amount of copyrighted content—a few seconds, say—and you will be protected by fair use. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Fair use covers how copyrighted content is used, not the amount of it.
While it is highly unlikely, it is theoretically possible that the use of copyrighted material in its entirety could be protected by fair use. It would be tough to justify, of course, and the less of a piece of copyrighted material you use, the easier it is to claim that you are using it for transformative means, rather than just stealing it.
It is here that the myth of using only a few seconds comes from; most successful examples of fair use on YouTube are short clips, but the shortness is not what makes them a successful example of fair use. We’ll get more into what these successful examples look like shortly.
The main trap people fall into when dealing with fair use is in thinking that it is some kind of protection against copyright claims or lawsuits, but this is not the case.
Fair use is a defence, not a protection. There is no one-size-fits-all application of fair use that a company like YouTube could apply to your usage of copyrighted material. As such, fair use is decided on a case-by-case basis…
Yes, unfortunately, the only way to prove you are using copyrighted content within the remit of fair use is by going to court and having them agree with you. And, unless you have a lot of spare cash and time on your hands, the only way that is likely to happen is if you get sued by a copyright holder. Not ideal.
An unfortunate side effect of this is that large copyright holders tend to bludgeon smaller entities with copyright take-downs, knowing full well that the average YouTuber will not have the means to challenge the claim on a legal footing. Combine this with increasingly automated copyright infringement detection employed by YouTube, and you have a scenario in which it is very difficult to use copyrighted content in any capacity.
There are even instances of YouTubers creating cover versions of popular songs using household objects—such as couch cushions and doors—getting copyright claims against them by the owner of the song they are covering.
How Much of a Song Can You Use on YouTube Without Copyright Issues?
Now that we’ve taken a deeper dive into how fair use works, we hope it makes more sense when we tell you that the answer to how much of a song you can use without copyright problems is, practically speaking, none.
The reason we say this is because the music industry is particularly aggressive when it comes to protecting its intellectual property. They are not interested in the fair use arguments and will go after any use of their music that they become aware of. Couple that with YouTube’s automated copyright infringement detection, and you have a situation where any attempt to use copyrighted music will likely get flagged.
If the infringement exists (that is, the copyright holder attributed does, in fact, own the copyright to the material in your video), then your only recourse would be to take that copyright holder to court.
It would be extremely unlikely to reach a point where the copyright holder would take you to court, however, as YouTube has plenty of mechanisms in place to protect their interests. From monetizing your video and sending them the proceeds, to removing your channel from the platform entirely.
YouTube will not allow you to infringe copyright continually, so it would take an extremely keen legal department at some music label to see you in taken to court before YouTube resolves the issue for them.
Examples of Fair Use
Copying works across a variety of different mediums, including broadcast, is permitted when the use is for examination or instruction, in an academic or industry setting, as long as it meets certain guidelines. Obviously, this is unlikely to apply to your average YouTuber.
An example more relevant to YouTube, however, is using copyrighted content for quotation, critique, or review. Of course, if you post an entire album with little to no commentary, you will struggle to make an argument for fair use. The amount of copyrighted content should be quite limited, and only just enough to get whatever point you are trying to make across.
Other criteria for this kind of fair use include the copyrighted material being publicly available and the source of the content being acknowledged
You can also use copyrighted material of reporting current news, though the situations in which copyrighted music would fit into this category are rare.
Parody, as we mentioned earlier, is also a form of fair use, but this is another area where the boundaries for what constitutes parody are far from clear. Any borderline case may need to be tested in court to receive any kind of definitive decision on the matter.
The final example of fair use involves text and data mining, which clearly doesn’t have any bearing on a discussion about using music in YouTube videos.
Can You Use Music in YouTube Videos at All?
There are certainly situations where you could use music—even copyrighted music—in your YouTube videos. If you were to obtain the permission of the copyright holder, for instance, you would be legally allowed to use that music as long as you stuck to whatever terms you agreed, of course.
As we mentioned earlier, there is also non-copyrighted music or music with an open license such as Creative Commons. YouTube provides an impressive library of such music for the very reason of helping YouTubers make their content without falling afoul of copyright strikes. Remember, they want you to succeed.
Finally, you could, of course, use your own music. If you make music and you have not given the rights to that music to anyone else, you are free to do with it as you please.
Should I Use Copyrighted Music in my YouTube Videos?
The only truly safe option when considering using music in your YouTube videos is to use royalty-free music that is licensed for commercial use.
The commercial aspect is important even if you do not monetize your videos, because you may decide to monetize them someday, and, in any case, some people may disagree with your idea of commercial. They may even be wrong, but you don’t want to have to go to court to prove that.
If you can get permission for the music you should be okay to use it in theory, however, it is worth noting that YouTube’s copyright infringement detection is something of a firehose when it comes to seeking out violations.
There are many examples in the past of YouTubers going to great lengths to obtain permission to use copyrighted material, only to have YouTube flag it as a violation.
In some case, copyright holders themselves have fallen afoul of this system. It has not been uncommon for YouTubers who are part of a content network upload a video of one of their own songs on a private channel and get flagged for copyright because their song was initially played on the content network’s channel.
It is far from a perfect system.
What Happens if I Get Caught Using Copyrighted Music?
The consequences vary depending on things like if you are a repeat offender, or how the copyright holder wants to handle the situation. If you are caught infringing copyright, and it is your first time, you will likely just receive a strike against your account. Enough of these strikes, however, and your account could be removed entirely.
In some cases, the copyright holder will opt to leave your video alone, but monetize it and claim the earnings. In those cases, you will not be able to monetize your video yourself, even if the offending music only makes up a small portion of your video. Unfortunately, this is a risk you will have to accept if you want to use copyrighted music.
As mentioned above, it is unlikely you would ever see a courtroom from infringing copyright on YouTube. But, as mentioned even further above, nothing in this post should be considered legal advice. The fact that it is unlikely that you will end up in court should not be seen as a guarantee that you will not end up in court.
The world of YouTube copyright is a bit of a minefield when it comes to knowing exactly what you can and can’t do.
If you do have to use copyrighted music, however, remember the guidelines for what constitutes fair use. Only use the absolute minimum of copyrighted music required to get your point across. Make sure the focus of the video is not the content.
Even with some additional commentary, if the point of the video is very clearly just to listen to the music, it will not be considered fair use.
But, most importantly, remember that fair use is not a protection against legal action. If a copyright holder gets a bee in their bonnet about your use of their music and decides to get the lawyers out, you will not be able to hide behind fair use.
You will need to go to court and convince a judge that your use of the content was fair use. It may not be a likely scenario, but it is one you will have to consider if you insist on using copyrighted music in your videos.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
5. Shutterstock helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the Shutterstock website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
How To Use Copyrighted Music WITHOUT Getting Striked — FREE YouTube Audio Library // How To Use Music On YouTube without Copyright. Use Copyrighted Music on YouTube legally! Royalty Free or Music For YouTube Videos can be adding from the YouTube Media, YouTube Audio Library for FREE, all you have to do is follow the YouTube Music Library licensing rules.
Note — Some of my links will be affiliate marketing links. These links do not affect the price of the products or services referred to but may offer commissions that are used to help me to fund the free YouTube video tutorials on this channel — thank you for your support.
Want to add some cool sound effects or music to your YouTube video (or any video)? Royalty Free Music, YouTube is there for you. It has a whole library of high-quality, 320kbps audio tracks and sound effects that you can download royalty-free and add to your videos. (Or listen to in your free time. We won’t judge.)
To add royalty free music or sound effects to your video: Open YouTube’s Audio Library by clicking here or opening your Creator Studio, clicking “Create” in the menu on the left-hand side, and choosing “Audio Library.”
Now, the fun begins. By default, it’ll start you on the “Sound effects” tab. Here, you can search sounds using the search bar, like I did in the screenshot below for motorcycle sounds.
You can also toggle by category (everything from human voices to weather sounds) or scroll through favorites that you’ve starred in the past. For easy access in the future, select the star to add the track to your Favorites. The bars next to the songs show how popular a track is.
If you switch over to the “Music” bar, you can browse through all of its Royalty Free Music. You won’t find the Beatles in here, but you will find some good stuff — like suspenseful music, uplifting music, holiday music, jazz, and more. Instead of toggling by category, you can toggle by genre, mood, instrument, duration, and so on.
(Note: Some of the Royalty Free Music files in there may have additional attribution requirements you have to follow, but those are pretty clearly laid out on a song-by-song-basis. You can learn more on YouTube’s Support page here.)
Once you’ve found a track you like, click the arrow to download it and it’ll download directly to your computer as an MP3 file. Then, you can do whatever you want with it.