How do YouTube music royalties work

Image credit: Szabo Viktor

Join us as we explore how music royalties work on YouTube and how you can make money with RouteNote.

YouTube and music flock together like birds of a feather. Since YouTube launched all the way back in 2005, it has been a home for musicians of all shapes and sizes to share their creations. It’s the most popular place for music videos on the web, it’s a home for any wacky music creations people want to share, and as of 2018 it’s a traditional music streaming service as well as a user-uploaded source of tracks, albums, and performances.

Music is so huge on YouTube that around a quarter of views on the website are spent on music – that’s roughly 250 million hours of music in a day! This huge reach means it’s an exciting and sought after place for artists to reach listeners through but of course that comes with some questions for artists too. We’re going to clear up some of the biggest questions surrounding YouTube and their music royalties.

Does YouTube pay artists royalties for music?

YouTube does pay out royalties to artists and labels for every play of their music. It depends on how their music has been uploaded to YouTube as to how they will receive royalties from their music.

How to get royalties from YouTube

Artists can upload their releases to YouTube like they would to a traditional streaming service, putting it on YouTube Music as well as the main site. At RouteNote we offer free distribution to YouTube of any artists’ music. Artists will then receive their earnings monthly, 45 days after the end of each month. For example; YouTube will send us the earnings from January in time for March 15th when they will be added to artists’ RouteNote accounts.

Artists can upload their music to YouTube Content ID with RouteNote to earn money any time their music is used in other creator’s videos. Payments from Content ID streams will also be added to users’ accounts 45 days after the end of each month.

YouTube royalties per view

It’s impossible to nail down an exact and consistent figure for the worth of digital royalties as they depend on so many variables like the country they were played in and whether the viewer was a paying subscriber or a free user.

The most recent guess-timation on how much streaming services pay per stream from Digital Music News reckons that YouTube Music pays out roughly $0.00676 per play (based on Google Play Music data).

For non-music content they found that YouTube pays roughly $0.00069 per view on videos.

Do RouteNote collect YouTube royalties?

As mentioned above, we work closely with YouTube in a variety of ways to earn money for artists of all shapes and sizes who get their music on the platform. Anyone can sign up for a free account at RouteNote and keep 85% of all the earnings they make whilst using our free services.

Users can also release their music on our well priced Premium platform to keep 100% of all the royalties they earn for a small upfront cost on their release. Once their music has been on Premium for a year it’s only $9.99 to renew any release on the Premium tier.

Can I earn YouTube music Sync Royalties?

Sync Royalties are generated when a composition is used with a moving image – a film, a TV episode, and now with online videos too. YouTube pays out a specific type of royalty known as Micro-Sync Royalties for the legal holder of the composition license.

At RouteNote we are able to collect Micro-Sync Royalties on behalf of artists and labels for the music they own the composition rights to whenever music is used in YouTube videos. We use the Content ID system to detect uses of music within videos and then direct the Micro-Sync Royalties that we receive from YouTube to the correct users account when we distribute user payments.

If you feel you’re eligible for Content ID and own the rights to your composition then you can apply to collect Micro-Sync Royalties with YouTube using this form: https://forms.gle/GzqpP4hnAH8728b18

How to use royalty free music on YouTube

If you’re a creator looking to brighten up your videos with a soundtrack but don’t want to lose your monetisation then there is an abundance of royalty free music available for creators to use in their content. Royalty free music means that the rightsholders have offered up the use of the music to be used by others, often with monetisation rights.

Our friends at SynchedIn offer a huge library of royalty free music and sound effects that can be used in videos across the internet. You can search for the exact sound and atmosphere you’re looking to create by searching by genres, keywords, and exploring their vast library.

Writing about music, listening to music, and occasionally playing music.

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