For videos that you are creating on your You Tube channel, the process is fairly straight forward. You just need to set up your You Tube channel to be able to monetize your videos. There are several features that can be unlocked in the Status and Features page under the Channel heading of your You Tube channel (Dashboard – Video Manager – Community – Channel – Analytics – Create). If you are a member in good standing, these features become available after different criteria are met (vary depending on desired feature). You must also open a Goggle Analytics account and connect it to you You Tube channel (fairly straightforward). Once everything is set you will be able to monetize any of the videos you create for your You Tube channel. This means you aren’t really getting any advantage out of including your original music because you already get to monetize the video (since it is your video and contains no 3rd party content). You Tube does report royalty information to artist royalty associations like ASCAP and BMI, but only after the video containing your song has had a significant number of views.
The advantage comes from having your songs appear on other peoples videos. Even though the video was created and uploaded by someone else, the fact that it contains your copywritten song prevents this other person from being able to collect advertisement revenue. It also gives you the power to have the video taken down, have the song removed or monetize the video yourself. This third option allows you to collect advertisement revenue on another person’s video since it contains your song. In order to do this, your songs must be registered in the You Tube Content Id system. This is a software system that searches all of the content on You Tube for matches to your software. Companies like Tune Core and CD Baby have the ability to provide this service for you. They register all of your songs into You Tube’s Content Id system through their registration license. You Tube pays the ad revenue to them. They keep a percentage (for their services) and give the rest to you. Another company that provides this service is Audiam. This company provides only sync licensing whereas the other companies primary service is providing a way to sell your music.
I don’t have any experience with Tune Core, so I cannot speak about the quality of their sync licensing service. I have had some experience with Audiam and even more experience with CD Baby. Next week I will discuss more details about sync licensing through these companies. I will also discuss the possibility of handling your own sync licensing independent of these companies.