YouTube today announced that its new marketplace, Creator Music, is now fully open to all YouTube Partner Program participants. First announced last September, the online platform offers a large catalog of songs for YouTubers to browse, browse and buy, as long as music rights terms are spelled out in plain language so creators can understand the costs involved. In addition to being able to buy licenses, creators can also select tracks that offer revenue sharing options, where creators and rights holders earn money from the use of the music.
As the company explained last year, music rights issues have long been an issue for creators. Today, if a YouTuber uses a song they don’t own, they end up having to pay all the ad revenue from their video back to the music licensee. This means that commercial music is often not used in YouTube videos, which harms creators, their fans, artists and songwriters.
The launch of Creator Music aims to simplify the licensing process for popular music. Through an online dashboard, creators can search for the songs they have in mind, or search by collection, genre or mood, then view associated licensing costs. Additionally, creators can search for leads based on a budget they set for their project.
When they find an eligible title, creators can either purchase a license after reading the terms or opt for a revenue share deal. With the former, creators can view the song and instantly download it to add to their video while editing. If they don’t want to pay an upfront cost to use the music, they can choose a track with the Rev-Share option instead.
This type of market could benefit large creators who wish to better control the costs associated with their productions, as well as small creators who historically have not been able to afford commercial music in their videos.
The new service doesn’t replace YouTube’s existing audio library with free tracks, it just offers another option. To continue showing free songs, including those in the audio library, creators can set the price filter to $0 when searching in Creator Music.
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With YouTube now increasingly competing with TikTok for short videos, the need for better backing tracks for long-form video content from creators has increased. TikTok’s acceptance of popular music has seen the video app have a big impact on Billboard charts and top streaming app charts as viral videos drive more music streams and downloads. More recently, TikTok is also rumored to be expanding its own music streaming service – another market in which YouTube is located. And as TikTok increases the maximum length of its videos and enters YouTube territory, Google’s own video site has had to stay competitive.
The Creator Music project launched alongside other larger YouTube initiatives last fall, including its Monetize Shorts plan and Affiliate Program overhaul to include a new Shrots-specific threshold of 1,000 subscribers and 10 million. views of short films over 90 days.
While Creator Music has been gradually rolled out for YPP-Creator in the US, the company says it is now fully available for this group. YouTube says it aims to bring the service to more countries over time, also expanding music options for non-YPP creators.