YouTube Launches Creator Music for Its Partner Participants

YouTube’s Creator Music marketplace is officially rolling out to U.S. Partner Program participants starting this week. Creator Music offers a sizable song catalog whose license and use terms are clearly spelled out. Some music is offered on a revenue-sharing basis, allowing creators and rights holders to earn from the end use. In announcing the service in September, YouTube pointed out its creators identified music rights as problematic. Due to the high cost associated with pop tunes, users often opted for unknown music. Creator Music aims to make licensing more recognizable music easy and affordable.

Using YouTube’s online dashboard, “creators can search for songs they have in mind or browse by collections, genres, or moods, then view the associated licensing costs,” TechCrunch writes, adding that the app can also search tracks based on budget. They can search by songs available through licensing and immediately check-out and download, or search for songs being offered through a revenue-sharing arrangement.

YouTube says it will continue to maintain its free Audio Library alongside Creator Music, noting that Creator Music contributors will also be able to add fee-free songs to introduce creators to their work. Videomakers with access to Creator Music through the Partner Program will find the Audio Library songs as well as Creator Music and sound effect offerings in one place.

For now, as the program rolls out, “the ‘Sounds effects’ tab from the Audio Library can be found under the ‘Genres’ section in Creator Music,” parent company Google said in an announcement, indicating plans to expand the program in additional territories.

While Google specifies the program is aimed at “monetizing creators,” it could also potentially benefit smaller-scale operators seeking to enhance their commercial potential through use of popular music.

“YouTube already offers popular music for use on Shorts through its Shorts Music Library, but many of those same songs wouldn’t have been viable for use on YouTube itself until now because of their associated costs and rights,” TechCrunch explains. As YouTube finds itself competing more aggressively with TikTok on the short-form video front, “the need for better backing tracks for creators’ long-form video content has grown.”

In March 2022, TikTok launched a similar creator service called SoundOn.

Use of popular music by TikTok creators has fueled sales and increased artists’ visibility on the Billboard charts and other performance trackers, with viral videos prompting streams and downloads. So much so that “recently, TikTok has been rumored to be expanding its own streaming music service as well — another market where YouTube operates.”

TikTok also last year increased the maximum length of video uploads to 10 minutes, edging into YouTube’s flagship territory.

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