Understanding monetization

Video monetization criteria

You must meet these minimum requirements in order to monetize your videos:

  • Your content is advertiser-friendly.
  • You created the content or have permission to use it commercially.
  • You are able to provide documentation proving you own commercial rights to all audio and video content.
  • Your content complies with YouTube’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. YouTube reserves the right to disable monetization for accounts that do not follow our guidelines.

Examples of content that may be eligible for monetization

  • You filmed your cat and there is no background music.
  • Your video contains royalty-free music, and you can prove commercial use rights using a direct link to its terms.
  • Your friend created content for your video and states in writing that you may use and make money from it.
  • You created original music yourself and are not signed to a label.

Examples of content that would NOT be eligible for monetization

  • Your video has music you purchased on iTunes or content you taped off of television.
  • You edit together a compilation of content created by others.
  • Content with violence and/or nudity meant to shock and disgust.

You can review additional tips about content your videos might contain here.

Please note, the above material is being provided solely for educational purposes and is not legal advice. You should only seek legal advice from a lawyer or legal representative.
YouTube Partners: Learn about YouTube policies and guidelines
Learn about YouTube policies and guidelines

Submit additional documentation to claim rights

YouTube may ask you how you own commercial use rights to all elements in your video at any time after you submit a video for monetization. This includes (but is not limited to) music, photographs, movie, and/or video game footage.

How we may request additional information

We may alert you via Video Manager and also send an email notification to the email address associated with your YouTube account. If more information is needed regarding your video, you may notice this icon in your Video Manager, next to the video in question. If you see this icon with caption text of how many days you have left to provide us with the requested information, please note that your video may be disabled for monetization if you don’t provide information within the time allotted.

Here’s how to submit that information

To submit that information, simply click the icon . You can provide information about your video using the suggested text and linked resources.

We are not able to provide you with legal advice regarding commercial use rights, but you can find general guidance here.

What happens next?

Your video(s) may be reviewed again once you’ve submitted additional information. In some cases, we may send a follow-up email to request further information.

Providing this information does not guarantee that your video will be approved. A variety of factors, such as video performance, may affect review time. We may not be able to process every submission, but we continually monitor these factors and prioritize accordingly. YouTube reserves the right to make the final decision whether to monetize a video, and may disable monetization for users who repeatedly submit ineligible videos.

How to read licenses to understand your rights

Royalty free software products and content owners, as well as video game publishers, often spell out your commercial use rights to their content, or content you created using their software, in their license agreements.

YouTube is not in a position to offer legal advice or to counsel you in any way. However, below are some tips to locate and read terms set by copyright holders.

  • License agreements can be located on the publisher/content owner’s website.
  • The licenses may be found in a number of places, so try searching for terms of use, grant of rights, terms and conditions, sharing, FAQs.
  • License agreements may explain the rights granted to licensees or end users and it is incumbent on you to appropriately read and interpret the license.
  • Some publishers have different types of licenses that grant different sets of rights to authorized content, so please ensure that the license you buy best suits your needs.
  • In addition to the license terms, you may also need to check the artists individual terms before using their content commercially.

For clear interpretation, please reach out to the license owner and clarify that you have all the commercial use rights to their content.

The above material is being provided solely for educational purposes and is not legal advice. You should only seek legal advice from a lawyer or legal representative.

What YouTube looks for in your documentation

After you submit a video for monetization, YouTube may ask you for additional documentation demonstrating how you own commercial use rights to all elements in your video. This includes (but is not limited to) music, photographs, movie and video game footage plus more.

The written permission should either be a contract between you and the rights owner, or a letter from the rights owner stating that you are permitted to use their content commercially. Please note that messages, comments, and postings from social media websites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), blogs or forums may not be sufficient to establish your commercial use rights. Elements you may want to include in this documentation include:

  • Explicit permission to use the rights holder’s content commercially.
  • Limitations/conditions concerning your use of content specified by rights holder, if applicable. Documentation must be valid worldwide for at least a year from the time of submission.
  • The URL of your video or, if you use the content in multiple videos, your channel name.
  • Electronic signature with date (this can be as simple as the rights holder writing out his full name at the bottom of the document).
The above material is being provided solely for educational purposes and is not legal advice. You should only seek legal advice from a lawyer or legal representative.

How ads are chosen

Monetized YouTube videos may display ads served via the AdSense auction as well as ads sold on a reservation basis via DoubleClick (DCLK) and other YouTube-sold sources.

AdSense Ads

The Adsense ads displayed on your video are determined automatically by our system based on a number of contextual factors relating to your video. These factors include but are not limited to your video metadata and whether the content isadvertiser-friendly.

We aren’t able to control all of the ads that appear with your videos manually. Similarly, we can’t guarantee that specific ads will be displayed with your videos. We regularly monitor and update our content-targeting algorithms in order to deliver the most relevant ads to your video pages.

Please Note: At this time we are not serving ads on videos that are enabled as 3D videos.

YouTube advertising formats

Note: You may have noticed some visual updates to your monetization settings. All current settings will remain the same. This would also be a good opportunity to opt into additional monetization options, if you haven’t already done so.

In an effort to simplify the monetization settings and better guide creators, like you, through the available options we have renamed and reorganized this section.

There are several types of ads that may appear next to your videos when you’ve enabled video monetization.

Ad format Placement Platform Specs
Display ads 

Appears to the right of the feature video and above the video suggestions list. For larger players, this ad may appear below the player. Desktop 300×250 and 300×60

Overlay ads

Semi-transparent overlay ads that appear on the lower 20% portion of your video. Desktop 480×70 (Flash) or text

Skippable video ads

Skippable video ads allow viewers to skip ads after 5 seconds, if they choose. Inserted before, during, or after the main video. Desktop, mobile devices, TV, and game consoles Plays in video player.

Non-skippable video ads and long, non-skippable video ads

Non-skippable video ads must be watched before your video can be viewed.

Long non-skippable video ads may be up to 30 seconds long.

These ads can appear before, during, or after the main video.

Desktop and mobile devices

Plays in video player.

15 or 20 seconds in length, depending on regional standards.

Long, non-skippable ads can be up to 30 seconds in length.

Curious about running ads? Learn more about the different YouTube advertising formats available.

Paid product placements and endorsements

You may include paid product placements or endorsements in your video content. All product placements will need to conform to our ad policies. You will also have to comply with any applicable laws and regulations (be sure to check because in some cases paid placements may not even be allowed). YouTube may disable videos with paid product placements and endorsements in certain cases.

What do we mean when we talk about paid product placements?

Paid product placements can be described as pieces of content that are created [specifically] for a third party and/or where that third party’s brand, message, or product is integrated directly into the content. A typical example of a paid product placement is one in which a marketer pays you (or provides other non-monetary advantages or incentives) to specifically mention their product or brand in what would normally be the editorial part of the content.

What do we mean when we talk about endorsements?

Endorsements can be described as pieces of content created for an advertiser or marketer that contain a message that consumers are likely to believe reflects the opinions, beliefs, or experiences of the content creator or endorser. A typical example of an endorsement is one in which a marketer pays a creator, celebrity or athlete to promote, use, review or even just experience their product or service and/or where the marketer has had editorial influence over your content, has included their brand or logo in your content or has paid for your creation of such content or the ability to upload their content into your channel.

Do I need to notify YouTube if a video has a paid product placement, endorsement, or other commercial relationship?

Yes, you can notify us by checking the appropriate box in your video’s Advanced Settings tab.

Do I need to notify anyone else about any commercial relationship connected to my video?

Maybe. Different jurisdictions have various requirements for creators and marketers involved in paid product placements and endorsements. For example, paid product placement may not be allowed in certain types of content or may not be allowed for certain types of products or services. Where your content does include paid product placements or endorsements we don’t want viewers to feel misled and that means being upfront and honest about any commercial relationship that might have influenced or contributed to your content – be that editorially or financially. So, be sure to check your local rules and use our tools to help you comply with your legal and regulatory requirements.

Will YouTube still run ads against these videos?

In some cases a paid product placement or endorsement can create a conflict with ads that YouTube otherwise sells and serves to monetized videos. For example, if you upload a video with brand mentions and product placements for Car Company A, then it would present a conflict to sell ad space around that video to Car Company B. To protect the value we offer advertisers, in these situations YouTube may disable monetization and promotion on videos with such product placements.

Does this mean I can burn Video Ads (pre-rolls, mid rolls and post rolls) into my videos?

No. YouTube’s Ads Policy does not allow you to burn advertiser-created and supplied Video Ads into your content or other commercial breaks where YouTube offers similar ad formats. If you have an advertiser interested in serving ads specifically against your content, please work with your partner manager to facilitate the transaction. See more information on our policies around third party embedded sponsorships.

This policy does not apply to videos created by or for brands and uploaded to the brand’s YouTube channel.

The marketer or sponsor wants to have a title card before or after the video with their brand name and product information. Is this ok?

We allow static title cards and end cards where there is a paid product placement or endorsement for the purpose of disclosing this relationship or other sponsor or marketer attribution for the underlying content. These title cards and end cards can be graphical and contain the sponsor or marketer’s logo and product branding.

Title cards should be 0:05s or less and static. If they are placed at the beginning of the video (0:01s), the card must be co-branded with the creator’s name/logo.

End cards are also allowed within the last 0:30s of the video and must be static only.

Is this open to all users?

Yes, as are all of these tools which you may wish to consider to help satisfy any disclosure obligations so your viewers understand when they’re watching content which includes paid product placements, endorsements, and/or sponsorships.

Monetizing eligible cover videos

Creators participating in the YouTube Partner Program can now share in the revenue from eligible cover song videos on YouTube, once those videos are claimed by music publisher owners. You will be paid revenue for these videos on a pro rata basis.

How to determine if your cover song video is eligible for monetization

You’ll know you can share in revenue from a cover song video when you see this message next to the video in your Monetization tab: “Monetize my video. This is my cover of a song written by somebody else. Learn more”

This message will appear for videos that have been claimed through the Content ID system by the music publisher(s) who own(s) the copyright in the musical composition performed. Both new uploads and prior uploads may be eligible, so you can also see if your prior cover song video uploads are eligible by looking in the YouTube Video Manager.

Please note, some specific songs have not been enabled for this feature by their copyright owner(s), so this may not appear for certain claimed cover videos. Other circumstances where videos are not eligible for this revenue share opportunity include:

  • Videos that contain a commercial sound recording, such as an instrumental or karaoke recording
  • Videos of live concert performances

How to enable revenue sharing for your cover song video

To enable revenue sharing for your cover song video once it has been claimed by a music publisher:

  1. Enable your account for monetization, if you have not already done so. Visit the Monetization tab in your account settings.
  2. Locate the eligible cover song video within Video Manager. It will have a “Matched third party content” notification and a gray dollar sign icon.
  3. Click on the gray dollar sign icon next to the video. Then on the Monetization tab, tick the checkbox next to the message that reads: “Monetize my video. This is my cover of a song written by somebody else. Learn more”
  4. Your video will then be reviewed to see if it contains third party content outside of the 3rd party song.
  5. You will soon be notified if further information is required. If you have questions, you can visit the monetization troubleshooter.

Suite of Free Tools

$0.45 USD - $4.00 USD

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.

$0.00 - $0.00

Estimated daily earnings

$0.00 - $0.00

Estimated monthly earnings

$0.00 - $0.00

Estimated yearly projection

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