For years, YouTube has allowed its users to upload however many videos they wanted, but with a catch: unless you were part of one of YouTube’s special partner programs, no video could be more than 10 minutes in length. Today, YouTube is changing that: it’s boosting the maximum upload length to fifteen minutes, giving the site’s millions of amateur directors a bit more leg room.
YouTube imposed the 10 minute restriction to help cut back on piracy (of course, it’s always been possible to simply string together multiple 10 minute clips to create a longer video, but that’s harder to distribute and has a worse viewing experience). Obviously the fifteen minute limit is still going to be irritating in some case, but it’s good to know that YouTube is actively working to extend it. In its blog post, YouTube explains why it can finally make the change:
Well, we’ve spent significant resources on creating and improving our state-of-the-art Content ID system and many other powerful tools for copyright owners. Now, all of the major U.S. movie studios, music labels and over 1,000 other global partners use Content ID to manage their content on YouTube. Because of the success of these ongoing technological efforts, we are able to increase the upload limit today.
Content ID is YouTube’s automated system that can identify and flag videos that it suspects contain copyrighted content. YouTube works directly with parters to get material like TV shows and movies, which it can crosscheck again whenever a user uploads their video. And it works really, really quickly (often before your video is even finished processing). The owners of the copyrighted content can then choose if they want to have the offending video pulled, or if they want to run their own ads against it. Hopefully as ContentID becomes more advanced and YouTube’s library of content to check against expands, it will be able to ditch the time limit entirely.