Get started with licensing as a rights holder

Creator Music is now available to U.S. creators in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Expansion to YPP creators outside of the U.S. is pending.

A license gives someone legal permission to use content that other people own the rights to. With Creator Music, creators can buy a license to use music in their video while retaining monetization. To make music available for licensing in Creator Music:

  1. Find out which of your sound recording assets are licensable.
  2. Create a license strategy to customize a license's usage terms, such as price and duration.
  3. Apply a license strategy to your licensable assets.

Before you get started, use the information below to learn more about license strategies and how they're used to set up licenses.

Understand license strategies

A license strategy specifies the terms a creator agrees to when they buy a license to your music on YouTube Creator Music. There are 2 types of license strategies you can offer: platform strategies and channel-based strategies. Each asset can have a maximum of 2 license strategies at a time: one platform strategy and one channel-based strategy.

Platform license strategies

Platform license strategies apply to all eligible creators with access to the Creator Music platform. When creating a platform strategy, you can create your own custom strategy or choose one of 4 preset pricing strategies:

  • Promotional: Optimized for visibility and reach.
  • Balanced: Balanced between Promotional and Premium.
  • Premium: Optimized for premium content.
  • Gratis: Best for visibility and reach.

Preset pricing strategies are segmented based on channel subscriber counts so that you can offer competitive prices to creators of all sizes. Custom strategies can have the same price for all creator segments or you can set different prices, but the prices must be in ascending order.

Channel-based license strategies

Channel-based license strategies let you offer custom license terms to individual channels. Paid licenses can only be offered through platform strategies.

If a targeted channel from your channel-based strategy wants to acquire a license, the Gratis channel-based license will be applied. Keep in mind that you can remove channels from channel-based strategies as needed. Learn how to create a channel-based license strategy.

Publisher floor pricing

Some publishers set floor pricing on assets they own, representing the lowest price at which a track can be licensed. When a publisher sets a floor price, the label/distributor must meet the price set in Studio Content Manager.

If you used preset license strategies that don’t meet a publisher’s floor price, the strategy will automatically update in Creator Music to prevent loss of licensability.

Set licensing permissions

When you're ready to get started with licensing, you can set up licensing-specific permissions for Content Manager users. These permissions allow only certain users to view and use license management features in Studio Content Manager. To set up licensing permissions:

  1. Sign in to Studio Content Manager.
  2. From the left menu, select Settings .
  3. Click Permissions. This page shows a list of users with Content Manager access and what role is assigned to them.
  4. Click MANAGE ROLES.
  5. Click the dropdown  and then Create new.
  6. Under Name of role, enter a name for the role.
    • Use a name that will allow you to easily identify the role in the future.
    • Maximum length of the role name is 100 characters.
  7. Check one or both boxes under Content ID rights management:
    • License management: Allows users to view and set platform license strategies on assets.
    • Channel-based license management: Allows users to view and set channel-based license strategies on assets.
  8. Click DONE.
  9. Back on the Permissions page, click SAVE to save the new role.

The role can now be assigned to Content Manager users. Learn more about managing roles.

FAQs

Is the pricing for preset license strategies subject to change?

Due to the constantly changing nature of the YouTube Creator ecosystem, the pricing for preset license strategies may change. If this happens, any preset license strategies will be labeled “New pricing available”, which will be visible on the License management page or when you edit an asset’s license strategy.

You can choose whether to update your license strategy and adopt the new pricing or keep it as is. If you choose to keep the pricing as is, the license strategy will be labeled "Legacy pricing".

Note: Some publishers set floor pricing on assets they own, representing the lowest price at which a track can be licensed. When a publisher sets a floor price, the label/distributor must meet the price set in Studio Content Manager. If you used preset license strategies that don’t meet a publisher’s floor price, the strategy will automatically update in Creator Music to prevent loss of licensability.
How do I update my license strategies to the new pricing?

To update a license strategy to the new pricing, select the new pricing level on the license strategy editing page and click APPLY.

This pricing change won’t affect any past acquisitions or license usage. Once you select the new pricing strategy, it’s not possible to go back to the legacy pricing.

More info

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