A Big Change for YouTube

How a New Music Feature Will Impact YouTube Community

By Onielia Wilson, Managing Editor

Content creators will soon be able to use licensed music in YouTube videos, which will transform the video platform.

Currently, YouTubers are not permitted to use licensed music in their videos for legal reasons. 

For a YouTuber to use a copyrighted song, they need to receive permission and pay the copyright holder. The system protects music rights; however, it is a big issue for creators who rely on music to elevate their videos. 

Creators must go the extra mile to ensure they are permitted to use all the songs in their videos. They also must be cautious of song remixes and music in the background of raw footage because the platform can detect those inclusions as copyright infringement.

It is a significant issue for creators because the consequences are serious. If a video receives a copyright strike, it must be removed, which will interfere with YouTubers’ profits and increase workloads as they may need to re-edit videos. Additionally, YouTube may temporarily ban accounts and prevent monetization.  

“I remember when a YouTuber received a copyright strike. Their channel was taken down for a month, and they lost many subscribers,” said McKenzie , a freshman at Lynn University. “It was negative for YouTube and the creator because the loss of views caused less income for them both.” 

Any YouTuber can receive a copyright strike. In a YouTube video from 2019, MrBeast sang a cappella version of the chorus of  “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. 

Despite being one of the most prominent YouTubers with 105 million subscribers, he received a copyright strike. The copyright claimers did not take serious legal action against him; however, not everyone avoids a lawsuit.

To prevent copyright strikes and consequences, YouTubers have found other ways to get music for their videos. Websites like Epidemic Sound offer an extensive collection of royalty-free music of all genres that creators can use after paying a subscription fee. Some musicians also create music for content creators to use free of cost if they are credited.

I think it is phenomenal that YouTubers have royalty-free options,” said Nelson , a Lynn junior. “I still believe that with the current system, YouTube is putting a monopoly over many opportunities for YouTubers.”

YouTube has heard the cry for musical freedom in videos. On Sept. 20, during the YouTube Made Live event, the company announced it is beta testing a new feature called Creator Music. This feature will allow content creators to use licensed music in their videos.

There are currently two options for how Creator Music will work. One way is that it could be a place where content creators could purchase licenses for music with the exact terms and rates outlined. The other way is that creators will pay no upfront costs to use licensed music but will share a portion of their commercial revenue with the artists.

According to Pelo , a Lynn freshman:

“Creator Music is going to be great. Everyone will profit from this change. Artists will get more recognition when their music is in YouTube videos. Plus, YouTube videos will be more interesting, which will increase views and create more profit for creators and the platform overall.”

YouTube should release Creator Music in the U.S. in late fall and 2023 for other markets. Whether a person is a content creator, an artist or a viewer, this new feature has the potential to transform YouTube and make it a better experience for all.

Above: YouTube copyright strike symbol. Photo/Boostlikes

Above: MrBeast in the video for which he received a copyright strike. Photo/MrBeast

Above: The announcement of Creator Music at the YouTube Made Live Event. Photo/YouTube

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