How to Avoid Copyright Strikes on Audio in Your YouTube Videos
Every YouTube content creator has faced this before. A seemingly innocuous background track is added to a video and uploaded to the channel. Then, after posting the video, you get a copyright infringement warning. And I’ve even experienced this with music downloaded from supposedly royalty-free music websites. I even had to make calls to which some were heard but others were not. And the obvious frustration with this is that your video may get demonetized due to such copyright strikes which basically interfere with the bag. Well, there are several ways around this.
Royalty Free Music Sites
There are many royalty free music download sites that offer a good range of music for videos. Freebies that usually don’t have issues like Bensound will have a passable selection of free tracks and the best sounds hidden behind a paywall.
Typically, these free platforms won’t have the best-produced tracks, especially if you’re looking for a specific theme to go along with your production. You may struggle to get tracks that fully complement the scene theme or emotion you want to apply. For this, you will have to shell out some money and pay for subscriptions or buy licenses for individual tracks from sites like Epidemic sound.
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How it works is that when you purchase tracks from these sites, you receive a license to go along with the track. The license will state the regions the track can be used on, the platforms it can be used on, and sometimes how many times you are allowed to use the track on a single platform. Very heavy for many of you, isn’t it? But there is a less taxing source for royalty-free audio.
YouTube Creator Community
YouTube is a platform for content creators, so there are surely channels dedicated to quality, royalty-free audio composition. In fact, they are. Just open YouTube and search for “Royalty Free Audio” and you’ll get a bunch. Some very good ones too and so far all the audios I’ve gotten this way don’t get any copyright strikes on YouTube.
However, on Facebook, a good number of them are flagged as copyrighted content and some creators know about it. They actually put a disclaimer that for Facebook you will actually have to pretend that you have a license for the track and they will remove all audio restrictions on that platform. I haven’t succeeded on this one yet.
The other little catch with this way of grabbing background audio is that if you want to use a certain popular song, it won’t cut it. Songs by musical artists are still copyrighted and so for that the community might not help much. But YouTube itself has something for that.
Creator Studio Audio Library
YouTube’s Creators Studio has an option right at the bottom called Audio Library and it’s an ever-growing catalog of tracks that you can use in your videos without getting any copyright strikes. You are pretty much guaranteed that the tracks you choose here won’t come with any copyright strikes, making it the easiest way to get audio for your music videos .
The catch, though, is that you’ll only be safe from copyright strikes as long as your videos never leave YouTube, so if you create a YouTube short and want to post it on Instagram Reels and Tik Tok, this could be a problem.
And another problem is that the library doesn’t contain any of the big names in music, which might still be what you want so much for your video. And YouTube knows it. So they are working to fix it.
Music Creator. Peer Pressure Tik Tok
TikTok has done something very interesting. Instead of making it impossible to use the audio you love in your videos, they let you have free rein, but the catch is that you can’t use an entire song. Just part of it. This is inherently not a problem as most Tik Tok videos are 30 second clips.
YouTube is now working on the same feature. So instead of having your video demonetized due to a copyright strike, you’ll soon be able to split the revenue with the artist the song belongs to. And so you are still making money from the video while the copyright holder of the audio also takes a cut. A win-win. I just hope the same arrangement will apply to video content soon.
Unfortunately, Music Creator is still in beta in the US only and will be rolling out to other countries starting in 2023, so we’ll have to be a bit more patient with that.
We’re launching Creator Music, a new destination in YouTube Studio that gives YouTube creators easy access to an ever-growing catalog of music to use in their long-form videos. Creators can now purchase affordable, high-quality music licenses that give them full monetization potential. They will keep the same revenue share that they would usually earn on videos without any music.
And for creators who don’t want to purchase a license upfront, they will be able to use songs and share revenue with the song’s artist and associated rights holders. Creator Music, currently in beta in the US and expanding to other countries in 2023, will offer a streamlined process for creators: they will be able to instantly see the terms of their song selection.
YouTube official blog