YouTube Uses Content ID System to Monetize—Not Penalize

With its new publishing deals, YouTube will turn the users it once punished, into marketing opportunities.  In the self-broadcasting/file-sharing era that makes it easy for fans to access, copy and distribute music at no cost, it seems that unauthorized file sharing and usage can only be mitigated, not stopped.  Instead of using it’s Content ID system to monitor infringement, YouTube will now harness it’s big data for ad targeting.  So, the loving couple that uploads a lovey-dovey photo collage video with Cee Lo Green’s “Fool For You” playing in the background, will no longer have their video taken down.  Instead all of their viewers will see ads encouraging them to purchase more Cee Lo Green songs.  YouTube executives believe their new approach benefits both artists and fans.

Given the revenue decline in the recording industry and unyielding amount of fan-produced content, Elizabeth Moody, believes YouTube’s new direction is a “win-win.”  On the YouTube blog, Moody stated: “When these publishers allow YouTube to run ads alongside user generated videos that incorporate their compositions, then the publishers, the songwriters they represent, and the record labels and artists using their compositions, all make money – so they can reinvest in their careers and keep making great music, and the music industry can thrive.”

Shawn Hess of Web Pro News suggests the YouTube decision has its drawbacks, but may set a precedent for similar upload platforms.  “It does mean more advertising to sit through, but it also could means a resurgence in the recording industry, and if you’re a music lover, it is something we have all been starving for. I think the impact of this deal, which YouTube has facilitated, will be far-reaching and revolutionary from both an advertising standpoint and a creative one.”

YouTube’s new publishing deals are with major music labels include BMG Rights Management, Christian Copyright Solutions, ABKCO Music, Inc., Songs Music Publishing, Words & Music, Copyright Administration, Music Services, Reservoir Media Management, and Songs of Virtual, which represent various noted artists including Adele, Cee Lo Green, Foo Fighters and Sam Cooke.

About Kathryn Buford

Kathryn Buford is a PhD student in sociology whose research explores digital communities across the African diaspora, social entrepreneurship and the arts. Kathryn's work has been featured in various online publications as well as the online magazine for Live Unchained (www.liveunchained.com), which features innovative arts, media and events across the world. Contact her at kathryn@siliconangle.com and follow her on Twitter (@yeskathryn) for takes on creativity, technology, entrepreneurship and society.