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YouTube has some major changes that might affect your revenue

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We are in an era where our artistes are embracing YouTube to earn an extra buck, on top of the money received for gigs. In all this, a huge number of them still have no clue about YouTube Content Management or Content ID system.

It is common to find a music video scattered on countless channels belonging to DJs, promoters, and fans. If you look closely, this video will most likely not be in the content ID system! What this means is that this video gets zero income from all these efforts. That hurts, right?

Well, I have always asked you to copyright your musical works before they are released. Artistes like Eddy Kenzo, Sheebah, Ykee Benda, Spice Diana et al are using platforms that require an upfront fee before your music gets distributed to all online stores. I have also endlessly recommended RouteNote given that theirs is a revenue share deal; you don’t have to pay anything. So, again, copyright your music, you never when that massive breakthrough will come in.

Anyway, back to YouTube. YouTube Music and YouTube Premium are now available in 52 countries and there’s no African country on the list. Hold the burning what-is question.

YouTube Music is a music streaming service and mobile app developed by YouTube. It provides a tailored interface for the service-oriented towards music streaming, allowing users to browse through songs and music videos on YouTube based on genres, playlists, and recommendations. On the other hand, YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) is a paid-for streaming subscription service that provides ads-free streaming of all videos hosted by YouTube.

Artist Eddy Kenzo wanted to win an international award and worked towards it till he did win. (Photo Credit: www.sqoop.co.ug)

In essence, availing your music for both YouTube Music and Content ID marking is now more important than ever because this is a worldwide music marketplace; call it the Majestic Plaza for music.

Here’s the catch. Out of the 52 countries where YouTube Music and YouTube Premium are, 28 Countries are in Europe and fall under the European Union (EU). Guess what, the EU made some reforms to the Copyright Law that will apply to all countries in the European Union umbrella, Uganda inclusive. I know, I now have your attention.

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This reform still has to be implemented individually in the 28 EU member nations so it won’t go into effect just yet. However, once the articles are implemented, platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter will face dramatic changes to how they handle copyrighted content.

Looking at Article 13, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter will have to remove all copyrighted material uploaded by users in the EU, with no exceptions. Right now, YouTube allows copyrighted content to remain uploaded on the platform at the discretion of copyright holders.

Article 13 will also make these platforms legally liable for infringing content uploaded by third parties. In the U.S., there are commonly called “safe harbor” regulations that keep platforms from facing legal ramifications stemming from content uploaded by their users. This means you should keep your eyes to Europe, as this move might greatly affect your revenue.

YouTube icon on iPhone. (Photo Courtesy: TechCrunch)

On the flipside, have you been getting manual copyright claims on your videos? I have some good news about these new changes.

YouTube will now require the alleged rights owner or their administrator (e.g RouteNote, CD Baby, DistroKid, TuneCore, etc) to provide the actual timestamps on exactly where their content is appearing on the said video.

This will help with the claims you have been getting claiming the entire video. This change, in particular, is intended to keep administrators at bay from getting trigger-happy, yet the Content ID system is out there doing the work and giving creators a quicker process to resolve the claim disputes.

So, now you know. To borrow a quote from G.I. Joe, knowing is half the battle. Now note this, if this article was a YouTube video, the movie owner, Hasbro Company, would place a timestamp on that quote only.

As we continue building this industry brick by brick, have a blessed weekend folks.

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Don Andrea

Don Andrea is a journalist and data analyst with a passion for music and entertainment. "Opinions are mine, comments are yours." - Don Andrea.

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