Media & Entertainment

YouTube launches its new commercial music licensing resource, Creator Music


Image Credits: YouTube

YouTube today announced its new marketplace, Creator Music, is now fully open to all YouTube Partner Program participants in the U.S. First announced last September, the online destination offers a large catalog of songs that creators can browse, search through, and purchase where the terms of the music rights are spelled out in plain language, so creators can understand the costs involved. In addition to being able to purchase licenses, creators are also able to choose tracks offering revenue-sharing options where both creators and the rights holders earn money from the music’s use.

As the company explained last year, the issues around music rights have been a longtime pain point for creators.

When a creator today uses a song they don’t own, they end up having to give away all the ad revenue on their video to the music license holder. That means commercial music is often not used in YouTube videos, which hurts creators, their fans, as well as artists and songwriters.

With the launch of Creator Music, the idea is to simplify the process of licensing popular music. Through an online dashboard, creators can search for songs they have in mind or browse by collections, genres, or moods, then view the associated licensing costs. In addition, creators can search for tracks based on a budget they have set for their project.

Image Credits: YouTube

When they find an eligible track, creators can choose to either buy a license after reviewing the terms or opt into a rev share agreement. With the former, creators can check out and immediately download the song to add to their video while editing. If they don’t want to pay an upfront cost for the music’s use, they can choose a track with the rev share option instead.

This type of marketplace could benefit larger creators who more precisely want to control the costs associated with their productions, as well as smaller creators who haven’t historically been able to afford commercial music in their videos.

The new service doesn’t replace YouTube’s existing Audio Library of free tracks, however; it just provides another option. To continue to view free songs, including those from the Audio Library, creators can set the price filter to “$0” when searching across Creator Music.

As YouTube now increasingly competes with TikTok on short-form video, the need for better backing tracks for creators’ long-form video content has grown. TikTok’s embrace of popular music has led to the video app having a heavy influence over the Billboard charts and the top charts in streaming apps, as viral videos prompt more streams and music downloads. More recently, TikTok has been rumored to be expanding its own streaming music service as well — another market where YouTube operates. And as TikTok lengthens the max time for its videos, inching into YouTube territory, the Google-owned video site needed to remain competitive.

Of course, 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.

At launch, YouTube said it was working with indie partners, including Empire, Believe, Downtown, and Merlin. It hasn’t officially announced any partnerships with the majors at this time, but told us there are now 100 labels involved.

The Creator Music project was introduced last fall alongside other larger YouTube initiatives, including its plan to monetize Shorts and revamp its Partner Program to include a new Shorts-specific threshold of 1,000 subscribers and 10 million Shorts views over 90 days. 

While Creator Music was gradually launched to YPP creators in the U.S., the company says it’s now fully available to that group. YouTube says it aims to bring the service to more countries over time and expand the music options for non-YPP creators as well.

More TechCrunch

Scale AI has raised a $1 billion Series F round from a slew of big-name institutional and corporate investors including Amazon and Meta.

Data-labeling startup Scale AI raises $1B as valuation doubles to $13.8B

The new coalition, Tech Against Scams, will work together to find ways to fight back against the tools used by scammers and to better educate the public against financial scams.

Meta, Match, Coinbase and others team up to fight online fraud and crypto scams

It’s a wrap: European Union lawmakers have given the final approval to set up the bloc’s flagship, risk-based regulations for artificial intelligence.

EU Council gives final nod to set up risk-based regulations for AI

London-based fintech Vitesse has closed a $93 million Series C round of funding led by investment giant KKR.

Vitesse, a payments and treasury management platform for insurers, raises $93M to fuel US expansion

Zen Educate, an online marketplace that connects schools with teachers, has raised $37 million in a Series B round of funding. The raise comes amid a growing teacher shortage crisis…

Zen Educate raises $37M and acquires Aquinas Education as it tries to address the teacher shortage

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

A new self-driving truck — manufactured by Volvo and loaded with autonomous vehicle tech developed by Aurora Innovation — could be on public highways as early as this summer.  The…

Aurora and Volvo unveil self-driving truck designed for a driverless future

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €285M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft wants to make Windows an AI operating system, launches Copilot+ PCs

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. For those who haven’t heard, the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule has been pushed back yet again to no earlier than…

TechCrunch Space: Star(side)liner

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons