What are the qualifications for YouTube Content ID?

Last updated on
February 2, 2024

YouTube's Content ID (YTCID) System scans your releases against the releases on YouTube in order to claim and monetize releases that are using your music across YouTube.

In order to be eligible for YTCID on Unchained Music, you must meet the following qualifications:

Exclusive rights

It is essential that you hold exclusive ownership rights to the content in the reference document for the regions in which you assert your ownership. This means you must own or have exclusive use of all of your samples, loops, vocals, and sounds that are used in your work. Samples from loop and sample libraries are generally ineligible for YTCID.

Examples of content that cannot be used in or as a reference include:

  • Material for which you have a non-exclusive license from a third party
  • Content distributed under Creative Commons or other open/free licenses
  • Footage, recordings, or compositions that are in the public domain
  • Segments borrowed from other sources under the doctrine of fair use
  • Gameplay videos not created by the game’s own publisher

Distinct reference content

Reference content needs to be uniquely identifiable and distinct. This means that tracks that are primarily a loop are not eligible for YTCID.

Content that cannot be used as a reference includes:

  • Karaoke versions, remastered tracks, recordings that closely mimic the original, and certain types of dubbed content
  • Sound effects, background soundtracks, or production loops

Individual references for each piece of intellectual property

Individual references are required for every piece of intellectual property.

Ineligible as references are:

  • Compilations
  • Continuous mixes by DJs
  • Mashups
  • Countdown compilations
  • Complete album recordings

Even if you hold exclusive rights to all content in these categories across all territories, it is necessary to break them down into separate elements, tracks, or videos.

Original Video Game Soundtrack guidelines

Only the video game's publisher can use Original Video Game Soundtracks as valid references.

Original Video Game Soundtracks refer to audio tracks specifically composed for the game, including its original scores or background music. This policy excludes popular music licensed for the game that was not originally created for it.

Valid references for these soundtracks are permissible exclusively when submitted by the video game publisher's designated content owner. If you are a game publisher with inquiries, you are encouraged to reach out to support for assistance.

Content that is sold or licensed at scale for incorporation into other works

Content intended for mass sale or licensing for inclusion in other works requires a review process. Please reach out to support if you are distributing this type of content.

AI Compositions

It is the policy of Unchained Music that all works involving any sort of Artificial Intelligence or generative music software must have:

  • Substantial influence from a human creator
  • Provide a license and/or Terms of Service for the AI tool(s) being used
  • Be trained exclusively on material licensed for AI training purposes

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