As part of what feels like a big new push to drive content creators to its platform, YouTube has revealed a surprising initiative designed to allow its content creators to earn money from their videos even when they featured licensed music — so long as it features on a list called ‘Creator Music.’
A report from Billboard explains that YouTube has been in talks with over 50 record labels, publishers, and distributors to curate an extensive list of music that numbers ‘Several hundred thousand’ songs. Up until now, YouTube creators have been forced to use royalty-free music in order to monetize, with even the shortest snippet of licensed music featured in a video potentially demonetizing their content.
Today’s news comes by way of an announcement made today during YouTube’s ‘Made on YouTube’ event being held this week. After the new ‘Creator Music’ initiative goes live (first in beta for the United States before being rolled out worldwide), creators will be given a choice as to whether they license tracks directly and keep all the revenue (minus YouTube’s 45% cut) or share revenue with license holders.
In the case of the latter, their 55% share will be allocated based on the number of licensed tracks in their video –if it’s one track, they’ll keep 27.5%, and if they use two, they’ll get 18.3%. Deductions such as performance rights fees may be allocated to the license holders in some situations.
The announcement follows on from YouTube’s overhaul of Shorts monetization, the company’s TikTok rival spin-off which previously revolved around a creator fund but will instead begin an ad revenue sharing program similar that will see creators earn 45% of revenue on their shorts. Details can be read over on the company’s most recent blog.