YouTube Now Tells You How Copyrighted Music Will Affect Your Video Before You Upload It

Google today launched a new feature in the YouTube Audio Library that allows uploaders who use copyrighted music to see exactly what will happen to their videos before they upload them.

When you upload a video to YouTube today, the service’s Content ID system will automatically try to figure out if you’re using any copyrighted music in it. Artists and labels can choose to then either mute that audio, block the video from being seen, or (if they’re smart) monetize the video by running ads against it. The problem with that is that until now, you didn’t know what would happen to your video until after you had uploaded it.


Using the new search feature in the Audio Library, you can now see exactly what will happen. Say you want to use Boom Clap from TechCrunch friend Charli XCX. You can now check and see that your video will still be viewable worldwide and that ads can appear on your video — but chances are you won’t be able to monetize your video through ads yourself.

This will definitely make life easier for YouTube’s content creators. It won’t solve any of YouTube’s issues around spurious takedown notices, but for the vast majority of uploaders, simply being able to check what a given song will do to a video is a major step forward. Once you’ve put a few hours into making a video — and maybe even synced it up with the music — finding out that your family won’t be able to re-watch its Thanksgiving antics on YouTube is a bit of a bummer.

YouTube also offers a large selection of royalty-free tracks for uploaders who want to monetize their videos.