How Content ID works

Understand YouTube rights management

The features described in this article are available only to partners who use YouTube’s Content Manager to manage their copyrighted content.

The YouTube system for managing your intellectual property consists of three major components:

  • The YouTube rights management system identifies the owners and administrators of your intellectual property and defines the policies used to enforce your rights
  • Content ID automatically scans YouTube videos for content that matches your intellectual property and applies the defined rights policy to the matching video
  • YouTube videos are the (optional) public representation of your intellectual property, available to users on

When you upload a piece of intellectual property to YouTube, you need to create a representation of it in each of these components separately. In other words, a single piece of intellectual property has up to three representations in the YouTube system:

  • An asset is the representation of your intellectual property in the rights management system. You specify ownership and rights information as part of the asset.
  • A reference is the representation of your intellectual property for Content ID matching. You provide a digital media file that Content ID compares to uploaded video content.
  • A video is the representation of your intellectual property on The video’s metadata describes the content and specifies how it appears on The video uses the same media file as a reference.

The asset is the heart of the system, the object with which the other objects are associated. You must create an asset for every piece of intellectual property; references and videos are optional.

You link references to assets by defining a relationship between the reference file and the asset. An asset can have more than one reference associated with it. For example, a movie asset could have separate references with 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios.

You link videos to assets by claiming the video on behalf of the asset. You claim videos that you upload, and may also claim other users’ videos when they include content that matches your asset.

When using the YouTube Content and Rights Administration feed to upload your intellectual property, you create assets, references, videos, and the links between them. You also create other supporting objects, such as:

  • Ownership objects provide information about the owner(s) of an asset or group of assets, such as the percentage of the asset that is owned and the territories where the asset is owned. You use ownership objects to declare who owns the rights to your assets.
  • Rights policy objects define the conditions and rules for monetizing claimed videos. For example, you could define a policy that displays advertisements to viewers in the United States but only tracks viewers in the rest of the world. You associate policies with assets.

See Structuring the content feed file for more information about uploading your content.

How Content ID works

Copyright owners can use a system called Content ID to easily identify and manage their content on YouTube.Videos uploaded to YouTube are scanned against a database of files that have been submitted to us by content owners. Copyright owners get to decide what happens when content in a video on YouTube matches a work they own. When this happens, the video gets a Content ID claim.

What options are available to copyright owners?

Copyright owners can choose different actions to take on material that matches theirs:

  • Mute audio that matches their music
  • Block a whole video from being viewed
  • Monetize the video by running ads against it
  • Track the video’s viewership statistics

Any of these actions can be country-specific. A video may be monetized in one country, and blocked or tracked in another.

Who can use Content ID?

YouTube only grants Content ID to copyright owners who meet specific criteria. To be approved, they must own exclusive rights to a substantial body of original material that is frequently uploaded by the YouTube user community.

YouTube also sets explicit guidelines on how to use Content ID. We monitor Content ID use and disputes on an ongoing basis to ensure these guidelines are followed.

Content owners who repeatedly make erroneous claims can have their Content ID access disabled and their partnership with YouTube terminated.

If you are a content owner and believe your content meets the criteria, you may apply for Content ID.

Related topics

What kind of content is eligible for Content ID?

The features described in this article are available only to partners who use YouTube’s Content ID matching system.

When you enable a piece of content for Content ID matching, YouTube automatically generates claims against other user’s uploaded content that matches (portions of) the reference file you provide.

Not all content is appropriate for claiming through Content ID. You must not use the system to claim content in which you do not have sufficient rights. Further, you are responsible for avoiding erroneous results, such as claims resulting from misidentified content, or claims interfering with authorized uses of content.

YouTube takes action to address cases of abuse and error in the Content ID system. These include disabling specific reference files or segments of reference files and releasing all associated claims, requiring manual review for certain categories of references, disabling Content ID, or even terminating YouTube partnership.

Abiding by the following rules will help you avoid these problems. (Please note, the examples under each rule are provided for your information. This is not an exhaustive list of potential issues.)

The following examples are ineligible for use in or as a reference:

  • Content licensed non-exclusively from a third party
  • Content released under Creative Commons or similar free/open licenses
  • Public domain footage, recordings, or compositions
  • Clips from other sources used under fair use principles
  • Video gameplay footage (by other than the game’s publisher)
The following examples are ineligible for use in or as a reference:

  • Karaoke recordings, remasters, and sound-alike recordings
  • Sound effects, soundbeds, or production loops
For example, matches against the following content types must be routed to manual review before claiming:

  • So-called “royalty free” production music libraries typically licensed for use in game, film, TV or other soundtracks.
Uploaders must be given sufficient information to understand what content is being claimed and who the owner of that content is. For example:

  • All assets must include an informative title (e.g., not “Track 4” or an internal serial number).
  • Recorded music assets must also include artist and record label information.

In addition to these rules, there are a variety of strategies to help you avoid and resolve improper claims.

YouTube Content ID Handbook

The features described in this article are available only to partners who use YouTube’s Content ID matching system.

Click the link below to download a manual that outlines the concepts behind YouTube’s Content ID system and explains how to manage Content ID using YouTube Content Manager and the user interface.

We highly recommend that you read Section 1: Intro to Content ID (pages 3 to 10). After that, you can refer to the table of contents on page 2 and skip to specific sections for the answers to your questions.

YouTube Content ID Handbook

YouTube Operations Guide

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Note: The accepted formula that Auxiliary Mode Inc. uses to calculate the CPM range is $0.45 USD - $25.00 USD.

The range fluctuates this much because many factors come into play when calculating a CPM. Quality of traffic, source country, niche type of video, price of specific ads, adblock, the actual click rate, watch time and etc.

Cost per thousand (CPM) is a marketing term used to denote the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage. If a website publisher charges $2.00CPM, that means an advertiser must pay $2.00 for every 1,000 impressions of its ad. The "M" in CPM represents the Roman numeral for 1,000.

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Estimated daily earnings

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Estimated monthly earnings

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Estimated yearly projection

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