Can I earn money from uploading music to YouTube?

Earning money is dependent on the popularity of the video and the CPM rate. The CPM rate is what advertisers pay per thousand views of a video. 

Do I get paid by APRA AMCOS when my music is viewed on YouTube?

APRA AMCOS includes in current distribution practices, the music reported by YouTube by means of their electronic “Music Asset” reports. These reports contain approximately 300,000 musical works per quarter. In addition, You Tube provides a report containing videos where music, if present, is not reported. APRA researches the top 1,000* videos by number of views to identify, where possible, the music contained in these videos.

What are the rates paid for YouTube videos?

Revenue from YouTube depends mainly on popularity and CPM (cost per thousand). CPM rates on YouTube generally range from a few dollars to around $20.  Some premium content videos can fetch CPM’s of up to $60.

Using a CPM rate of $10 for a video with 1 million views – the calculation would be: $10 CPM x (1 million views /1,000) = $10,000. Reports indicate YouTube keep approximately 45% revenue so the video would receive around $5,500 split between the rights holders. If the video met APRA AMCOS distribution criteria, then musical works would also earn royalties.

Who gets paid for music covers?

YouTube has a Content ID system to scan and identify copyright material. This system includes audio and audio-visual fingerprinting technology, as well as melody recognition for cover songs. The first two types of fingerprinting technologies are far more developed and accurate in identifying sound recordings and visual material (of things such as films and TV programs). Melody recondition technology is less advanced and often cannot identify the large quantity of cover songs on YouTube.

Copyright owners can still claim their work manually. If a cover song went viral, it would be up to the copyright owner or music publishers to lodge a claim with YouTube.

Do I need clearance to upload other people's music?

APRA AMCOS has a licence agreement in place with YouTube. The licence does not extend to synchronisation (the initial reproduction of the song when making the video).
Our recommendation is to first contact the song’s copyright owner – often a music publisher. This will identify if a clearance is required to make a synchronisation of the song in a video.

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