All About That Bass

YouTube expands royalty-free music library

Creators now have 1,000 more songs that they can use, plus a growing number of popular songs for use with some restrictions.
August 24, 2015

It seems YouTube is pulling out more stops in an effort to keep its content creators happy.

The Google-owned video giant confirmed that it has expanded its library of royalty-free music for creators by more than 1,000 songs. Creators now have more options for background music and sound effects in videos without risking copyright violations.

The majority of the artists found in the royalty-free library are not household names. However, YouTube also has access to more mainstream and current songs (such as David Guetta’s “Hey Mama” and Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” pictured) in a separate audio library. The company says it plans to update that library frequently, though notes the songs may come with certain restrictions, such as:

  • A creator using Guetta’s tune cannot monetize his or her video.
  • A video using Trainor’s hit song cannot be shown in Germany.

The YouTube audio library was first introduced in December 2014 in order to make it easier for creators to check the legal status and viewing restrictions on the popular music they may have used in their videos.

Unlike the popular tracks, though, the royalty-free tracks contain no such restrictions, making it easier for creators to add sound to video without facing the possibility of the video being yanked from the site.

While the royalty-free music is available for creators to download from the site, users are still expected to provide the more popular, copyright-protected songs themselves when creating videos. YouTube views its library as more of a search resource.

This introduction of enhanced creator resources isn’t an isolated incident. CEO Susan Wojcicki recently announced the company is intent on making several creator-friendly changes, including offering more controls over comment moderation, and eliminating requirements for uploaders to have a Google+ profile in order to post a video.

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