Your complete guide to YouTube Content ID



Learn what YouTube Content ID is and how it applies to video creators.
Understand the difference between Content ID and YouTube Copyright Strikes.
Avoiding content claims is easier than ever. Clear the music you use on your channels and videos right within your Artlist account.

Table of Contents

Have you heard of YouTube Content ID or YouTube Copyright Strike? They might sound like complicated legal terms, but whether you’re creating original music or YouTube videos, it’s essential to understand what they are and how they can affect your content. In this guide, we’ll break down all the terms, explain why YouTube cares about the content you upload, and tell you everything you need to know about protecting your content on YouTube. 


What is Content ID?

Content ID is like a digital fingerprint — it helps YouTube to identify and track the content uploaded on its platform. Whenever a video is uploaded to YouTube, the platform automatically scans it to check for any copyrighted content. Content ID helps to protect the creator of the copyrighted content, as well as you, the uploader, against any copyright infringements. 


How does Content ID work?

YouTube’s content ID is an automated system that checks every video uploaded to its platform against its database of copyrighted content. The database includes music, TV shows, and other protected content. For example, if you upload a video with music and that music is copyrighted, YouTube will let the owner of the music know, and you will receive a claim. 

Get unlimited high-quality music for your videos

Why does YouTube care about what music I use in my videos?

YouTube is the world’s largest video platform, with millions of videos uploaded daily. It’s never been simpler to share content online, which is fantastic for creative communities and the fans who follow them. The downside is that losing control of your content can be much easier than expected. Additionally, monetizing digital content means that going viral can mean big money, so everyone involved in creating that video must get the recognition they deserve. 


How can I keep my content safe?

More and more creators are monetizing their content, so the owners must get the financial compensation they deserve. You may think it’s just a music track or footage, and you did all the hard work making the video, but YouTube doesn’t see it like that. So if you want to protect yourself, you should create your own content or use royalty-free assets. 

With Artlist, avoiding content claims is easier than ever — you can clear the music you use on your channels and videos right within your Artlist account. All you have to do is add your YouTube channels or videos to the Clearlist, and we’ll take care of the rest for you. Check out the complete guide.  


Does Content ID always get it right?

YouTube Content ID is a powerful tool that is being improved daily. Using machine learning, the system is developing and learning over time. That said, it isn’t always 100% accurate, and you may receive a Content ID claim for something you created from scratch or hold a license for.

If the work is 100% original, you can appeal the Content ID Claim, and someone will check the tracks. It’s worth remembering that YouTube can search through more music in a few minutes than you could listen to in a lifetime – occasionally, your original work might not sound 100% original. Always ensure you keep project files and recordings so if you need to prove you’ve created the content, you can do so.

Sometimes you may get a Content ID claim or Copyright Strike for music tracks available online under copyright-free or Creative Commons licensing. This is quite common, as creators like to track who uses their work and how they use it. If you get a claim on a track you are legally licensed to use, you can dispute the claim on YouTube and also let the copyright owner (the person or company that licensed the content to you) know that you have a claim. It is important that you make sure you have licensed the content legally. The copyright claim should be cleared once you provide evidence of your license.


Can I use copyrighted music if I give credit?

Copyright is a complicated topic, and there are many different ways to license assets for your projects. An essential thing to remember is that you will need permission from the creator to use their work.

Getting permission from creators can be challenging, but you have several options to make finding and using new tracks from independent artists easier. You can get permission to use music through music distributors, stock music libraries, or by going directly to the artist.

While some creators may ask you to give them credit as a part of a license agreement, giving credit does not mean you have permission. You should always seek a legally binding license from the artist or their representatives before using their music in your work – this is the only way you can protect your video projects from copyright claims in the future.


There are two ways for YouTube to know that you’ve used copyrighted music in your videos: YouTube Content ID or YouTube Copyright Strike.

YouTube Content ID creates a unique fingerprint for any song the creator protects. When you upload your videos, YouTube will listen to the songs you’ve used and match them against all the other digital fingerprints in the system. If there is a match, YouTube will notify you of a Content ID claim on your video.

If you get a Content ID Claim on your video, you will be notified about what the copyright owner wants to do. They have the right to choose the following options:

  • Block a video from being viewed
  • Monetize the video by running ads on it, sometimes sharing revenue with the uploader.
  • Track the video’s viewership statistics. 


The owner can also choose different options in different locations, e.g., monetize the video in some countries/regions and block it in others.


It’s also worth noting that Content ID claims affect individual videos but often don’t impact an entire channel or account.

A YouTube Copyright Claim happens when another user submits a complaint to YouTube that you have used their content in your video, or when Content ID automatically picks it up. A Copyright Strike is much more serious. These are checked manually and the claimer will need to identify what they believe they own in your video. They may also need to provide sufficient evidence of their ownership.

If you get 3 YouTube Copyright Strikes, your channel will be suspended and, on some occasions, removed altogether. If you are abusing the Copyright Strike system, you may also have your account terminated.

If you get a Copyright Strike, you can appeal it if you believe it is incorrect. If you have used copyrighted music in your work, you may be asked to remove it or credit the creator. 

If you use Artlist creative assets in your videos, we will take action to protect your content from claims. If you do get a claim that you think is incorrect, reach out to Customer Care

Frequently asked questions

Share this article:

Join the #ALcreators community:

Find the perfect
song for your video

Related posts