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Making Sense of YouTube Monetization With Songtrust

Picture of Andrew Parks
2 minute read

Songtrust offers YouTube monetization on behalf of our clients’ compositions as part of our worldwide publishing administration services. Here’s how it works: Once you add songs with at least one ISRC to your account, we automatically deliver them to YouTube’s Content ID system. It uses that metadata to scan uploaded videos for matching content. 

This process enables us to claim most monetizable videos on the platform automatically for you. YouTube pays us monthly, and we distribute these royalties at the end of the following quarter according to our regular distribution schedule.

You can be confident that videos that qualify to be monetized are being claimed on your behalf and can use the Songtrust YouTube Claims page to discover and track all successful claims.

Songtrust handles YouTube monetization on your behalf in the United States and Brazil. In many other territories, YouTube royalties are collected by that country’s PRO, CMO, and/or mechanical rights organization. For a current list of monetized YouTube markets, check out the service’s help center here.

Please note that we cannot monetize videos that do not meet YouTube’s current eligibility requirements. These include having at least 1,000 subscribers and more than 4,000 valid public watch hours over the past 12 months, living in a country/region where the YouTube Partner Program is available, and having a linked AdSense account. 

How to Allowlist Your Channel and Monetize Your YouTube Videos Directly

If you have your own YouTube channel, we can claim any of its uploads on your behalf. However, you also have the option to “allowlist”  (formerly referred to as “whitelisting”) your channel (or any other channel) if you (or the channel owner) would like to monetize those videos yourself directly rather than through Songtrust’s collections. The decision is entirely up to you.

If you have a YouTube channel, we highly suggest joining YouTube’s Partner Program and adding it to your YouTube Tool’s allowlist. This will enable you to monetize content without having to go through Songtrust. We will still claim any videos on other users' channels if they do not have a proper agreement with you in place.

In some situations, you may want to prevent Content ID from claiming videos that certain YouTube channels upload. For example, a movie studio might not want to claim videos from a channel that reviews and promotes its films. You can exempt channels from Content ID claims by adding channels to your allowlist.

What Happens When You Opt Out of YouTube Monetization 

Since many creators engage with third parties to monetize their music on YouTube, we make it possible for Songtrust clients to opt out of our direct YouTube collection service. Opting out of YouTube collections does not mean that no claims can be placed on videos using your music. It only means that Songtrust will not place these claims directly. 

Societies around the world have the right - and often the government mandate - to place claims on and collect for YouTube usage of songs in their repertoire, in the absence of another rightsholder. 

This means that if you don’t have a deal with another organization for YouTube collections, societies around the world may claim and collect on your songs when used in YouTube videos in their territory. 

When you sign up for publishing administration, you are giving your administrator and their partners — such as global rights organizations — the right to license and collect on your works around the world. For more information on Songtrust and YouTube monetization, check out our Help Center or reach out to us directly here


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