There is much discussion on this topic between music producers, music libraries and professional music buyers. This blog post is our view on Content ID.
Now, I don’t want you to think that I am only looking at this from a one-sided point of view. Although royalty free music is one of our main areas of business, I have composed music in the past and still have that mentality where I would want to get the best possible income for my music. So, my intention is to provide a balanced view of this topic.
New to this subject?
We have covered this aspect of music licensing in our latest video ‘Video Tutorial: Professional Music Buyers Guide‘
There is a blog post about it too ‘Professional Music Buyers Guide: Understanding Content ID‘
Well, here’s the thing, we don’t really mind Content ID providing it does not impact on our business or our customers. As a business we had to make a choice between accepting music that contains Content ID or not.
Our decision was easy; we will not put music in our library that contains Content ID. The reason is simple, Content ID triggers adverts on YouTube (and probably other video websites in the future). The issue arises when adverts appear in the client’s promotional video because of the Content ID contained within the music. The adverts are context sensitive and quite often advertise a competitors business. The result is an unhappy client, or worse still, I heard of a case where the video producer got fired because of it. 🙁
Should I put my music in a Content ID system?
I guess the question is: Do you want to distribute your music through one entity that ID’s your music or give yourself the freedom to distribute it in several ways?
Let me explain. If you put your music in YouTube’s revenue sharing system or ANY library or distribution service that uses Content ID you realistically have to stay with that one entity. Once Content ID is associated with your music any wider distribution is going to be problematic for you and any other distributor.
By all means, if you decide that Content ID is the way you want go then go for it and stick with it. You could make some money.
The problem is not Content ID; it’s the misuse of it
You are the composer or producer, therefore it is your choice on how and where you monetise your music. However, for the reasons already outlined, it is also our choice not to host music that has Content ID. I know of other libraries that take the same stance.
It is the responsibility of the composer, publisher or producer to fully understand the issues and make informed decisions. It is imperative that you understand what agreements you are signing. Time and time again we have to deal with Content ID issues because a music supplier joined a new library that Content ID’d their music.
I think Content ID is fine if that is your only route to market and it works for you. However, as a music maker you have a responsibility and need to understand what you are signing / agreeing to. Carelessly signing agreements can have adverse consequences so do make sure you fully understand what you committing to.
The choice is to either join one library or distributor that uses Content ID and stick with it OR join several non-exclusive libraries without Content ID.
Feel free to comment and share your own views and experiences of Content ID.